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A 402754 



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Part Seventh. 




Vol. I. 



CopfrigM, im, 
Bt Francis Parkmav. 

Copyright, 2897, 1898, 
Bt Littub, Brown, and Coxpant 







The names on the titlepage stand as repre- 
sentative of the two nations whose final contest 
for the control of North America is the subject 
of the book. 

A very large amount of impublished material 
has been used in its preparation, consisting for 
the most part of documents copied from the 
archives and libraries of France and England, 
especially from the Archives de la Marine et des 
Colonies, the Archives de la Guerre, and the 
Archives Nationales at Paris, and the Public 
Record Office and the British Museum at Lon- 
don. The papers copied for the present work 
in France alone exceed six thousand folio pages 
of manuscript, additional and supplementary to 
the " Paris Documents " procured for the State 
of New York under the agency of Mr. Brodhead, 
The copies made in England form ten volumes, 
besides many English documents consulted in 



the original manuscript. Great numbers oi 
autograph letters, diaries, and other writings 
of persons engaged in the war have also been 
examined on this side of the Atlantic. 

I owe to the kindness of the present Marquis 
de Montcalm the permission to copy all the let- 
ters written by his ancestor, General Montcalm, 
when in America, to members of his family in 
France. Greneral Montcalm, from his first ar- 
rival in Canada to a few days before his death, 
also carried on an active correspondence with 
one of his chief officers, Bourlamaque, with 
whom he was on terms of mtunacy. These 
autograph letters are now preserved in a private 
collection. I have examined them, and obtained 
copies of the whole. They form an interesting 
complement to the official correspondence of the 
writer, and throw the most curious side-lights 
on the persons and events of the time. 

Besides manuscripts, the printed matter in the 
form of books, pamphlets, contemporary news- 
papers, and other publications relating to the 
American part of the Seven Years' War, is 
varied and abundant ; and I believe I may safely 
say that nothing in it of much consequence has 
escaped me. The liberality of some of the older 
States of the Union, especially New York and 


Pennsylvania, in printing the volimiinous records 
of their colonial history, has saved me a deal of 
tedious labor. 

The whole of this published and unpublished 
mass of evidence has been read and collated with 
extreme care, and more than common pains have 
been taken to secure accuracy of statement. 
The study of books and papers, however, could 
not alone answer the purpose. The plan of the 
work was formed in early youth j and though 
various causes have long delayed its execution, 
it has always been kept in view. Meanwhile, I 
have visited and examined every spot where 
events of any importance in connection with the 
contest took place, and have observed with at- 
tention such scenes and persons as might help to 
illustrate those I meant to describe. In short, 
the subject has been studied as much from life 
and in the open air as at the library table. 

These two volumes are a departure from chro- 
nological sequence. The period between 1700 
and 1748 has been passed over for a time. 
When this gap is filled, the series of " France 
and England in North America ** will form a 
continuous history of the French occupation of 
the continent. 

The portrait in the first volume is from a 

li ! PREFACE. 

photograph of the original picture in possession 
df the Marquis de Montcalm ; that in the second, 
from a photograph of the original picture in 
^sescdon of Admiral Warde. 

BoBTOK, September 16, ISSii 

". .f 

\ . 

f. . . ■ . : 



iMTBODUOnOH ••••• 3 



England in the Eighteenth Centuiy: her Political and Social 
Aspects ; her Military Condition. — Fhmce : her Power 
and Importance. — Signs of Decay. -* The Court, the Nobles, 
the Clergy, the People. — The King and Pompadour. — The 
Philoeophers. — Gtormany. — Prossia. — Frederic II. — Rna- 
sia. — State of Europe. — War of the Austrian Succession. 

— American Colonies of France and England. — Contrasted 
Systems and their Results. — Canada: its Strong Military 
Position. — French Claims to the Continent. —| British Colo- 
nies. — New England. — Virginia. — Pennsylvania. — New 
York. — JealouBies, Divisiona, Internal Disputes^ — Militazy 
Weaknev 9 



La Galissoniire. — English Encroachment. — Mission of C^oron. 

— The Great West: its European Claimants; its Indian 
Population. — English Fur-traders. — C^ron on the Alle- 
ghany: hia Reception; his Difficulties. — Descent of the 
Ohio. — Covert Hostility. — Ascent of the Miami. — La 
Demoiselle. — Dark Prospects for France. — Christopher 
Gist, George Croghan: their Western Mission. — Picka- 
willany. — English Ascendency. — English Dissension and 
Rivalry.— TheKey of the Great West 39 




ookflict for thb ws8t. 

TIm FiTe Natioiii.^ CftDghnawaga. — Abb^ Piqnet : his Schemes ; 

his Jonrnej. — Fort Frontenac. — Toronto. — Niagara. — 

Oswego. — Success of Piqnet. — Detroit. — La Jonqni^re : 

his Intrigues ; his Trials ; his Death. — English Intrigues. — 

Critical State of the West. ^ Pickawiilany destroyed.— 

Dnquesne: his Grand Enterprise 67 



Acadia ceded to England. — Acadians swear Fidelity. — Halifax 
founded. — French Intrigue. — Acadian Priests. *- Mildness 
of English Rule. — Covert Hostility of Acadians. — The New 
Oath.— Treachery of Versailles. — Indians incited to War. 
— Clerical Agents of Revolt. — Abb6 Le Loutre. — Acadians 
impelled to emigrate. — Misery of the Emigrants. — Humanity 
of ComwaUis and Hopson. — Fanaticism and Violence of Le 
Loutre. — Capture of the " St. Fhm9ois." — The English at 
Beaubassin. — Le Loutre drives out the Inhabitants. — Mur- 
der of Howe. — Beaus^jour. — Insolence of Le Loutre: his 
Harshness to the Acadians. — The Boundary Commission : 
itiFailure. — Approaching War M 

1753, 1754. 


TIm French occupy the Sources of the Ohio : their Sufferings. — > 
Fort Le Bosul — Legardeur de Saint-Pierre. — Mission of 
Washington.*- Robert Dinwiddle: he opposes the French; 
his Dispute with the Burgesses; his Energy; his Ap- 
peals lor Help. — Fort Duquesne. — Death of Jumonville. — 
Washington at the Great Meadows. — Coulon de VilUers. — 
Ibft Necesnty 133 


1754, 1755. 



Tioables of Dinwiddie. — Gathering of the Borgegses. — Vix^ 
ginian Society. — Refractorj Legislators. — The Qnaker As- 
sembly: it refuses to resist the French. — Apathj of New 
York. — Shirley and the General Court of Kassachnsetts. — 
Short-sighted Policy. — Attitude of Royal Goremors. — In- 
dian Allies waver. — Convention at Albany. — Scheme of 
Union : it fails. — Dinwiddie and Glen. ^ Dinwiddle calls 
on England for Help. — The Duke of Newcastle. — Weak- 
ness of the British Cabinet— Attitude of France. — Mutual 
Dissimulation. — Both Powers send Troops to America.— 
Collision.— Capture of the ''Aldde" and the "Lis'' . • . IM 



Arrival of Braddoek: hia Character. — Council at Alexandria. 

— Plan of the Campaign. — Apathy of the Colonists. — Rage 
of Braddoek. — Franklin. — Fort Cumberland. — Compoti- 
tion of the Army. — Offended Friends. — The Biarch. — The 
French Fort. — Savage Allies. — The Captive. — Beaujeu: 
he goes to meet the English. — Passage of the Monongahela. 

— The Surprise. — The Battle.— Rout of Braddoek: his 
Death. — Indian Ferocity. — Reception of the 111 News.— 
Weakness of Dunbar. — The Frontier abandoned • • • • 194 



State of Acadia. —Threatened Invasion. — Peril of the English : 
their Plans. — French Forts to be attacked.— Beaas^onr 
and its Occupants.— French Treatment of the Acadians.— 
John Winslow. — Siege and Capture of Beans^joar. — Atfci* 



tnde of Acadians.— Influence of their Priests: they refase 

the Oath of Allegiance; their Condition and Character. — 
Pretended Neutrals. — Moderation of English Authorities. ~^ 
The Acadians persist in their Refusal. — Enemies or Sub- 
jects 1 — Choice of the Acadians. — The Consequence. — Their 
Removal determined. — Winslow at Grand Pr^. — Conference 
with Murray. — Summons to the Inhabitants : their Seizure ; 
their Embfurkation ; their Fate ; their Treatment in Canada. 
•—Misapprehension concerning them 243 



Expedition against Crown Point. — William Johnson. — Yau- 
dreuil. — Dieskan. — Johnson and the Indians. — The Pro- 
yincial Army. — Doubts and Delays. — March to Lake 
George. — Sunday in Camp. — Advance of Dieskau : he 
changes Plan. — Marches against Johnson. — Ambush. — 
Rout of Provincials. — Battle of Lake George. — Rout of the 
French.— Rage of the Mohawks. — Peril of Dieskau. — In- 
action of Johnson. — The Homeward March. — Laurels of 
Vidofy 996 

1755, 1756. 


Hie Niagara Campaign. — Albany. — March to Oswego. — Diffi- 
culties. — The Expedition abandoned. — Shirley and Johnson. 
— Results of the Campaign. — The Scourge of the Border. — 
Trials of Washington. — Misery of the Settlers. — Horror of 
their Situation. — Philadelphia and the Quakers. — Disputes 
with the Penns. — Democracy and Feudalism. — Pennsyl- 
vanian Population. — Appeals from the Frontier. — Quarrel of 
Governor and Assembly. — Help refused. — Desperation of the 
Borderers. — Fire and Slaughter. — The Assembly alarmed : 
they pass a Mock Militia Law ; they are forced to yield . . 330 

/■If.- . cl' :-.■_. 


••• ••• 

•; . * 




It is the nature of great events to obscure the great 
events that came before them. The Seven Tears' 
War in Europe is seen but dimly through revolution- 
ary convulsions and Napoleonic tempests; and the 
same contest in America is half lost to sight behind 
the storm-cloud of the War of Independence. Few 
at this day see the momentous issues involved in it, 
or the greatness of the danger that it averted. The 
strife that armed all the civilized world began here. 
^^Such was the complication of political interests," 
says Voltaire, ^^that a cannon-shot fired in America 
could give the signal that set Europe in a blaze." 
Not quite. It was not a cannon-shot, but a volley 
from the hunting-pieces of a few backwoodsmen, com- 
manded by a Virginian youth, George Washington. 

To us of this day, the result of the American part 
of the war seems a foregone conclusion. It was far 
from being so; and very far from being so regarded 
by our forefathers. > The numerical superiority of the 
British colonies was offset by organic weaknesses 


fatal to vigorous and united action. Nor at the out- 
set did they, or the mother-country, aim at conquer- 
ing Canada, but only at pushing back her boundaries. 
Canada — using the name in its restricted sense — 
was a position of great strength; and even whfen her 
dependencies were overcome, she could hold her own 
against forces far superior. Armies could reach her 
only by three routes, — the Lower St. Lawrence on 
the east, the Upper St. Lawrence on the west, and 
Lake Champlain on the south. The first access was 
guarded by a fortress almost impregnable by nature, 
and the second by a long chain of dangerous rapids ; 
while the third offered a series of points easy to 
defend. During this same war, Frederic of Prussia 
held his ground triumphantly against greater odds, 
though his kingdom was open on all sides to attack. 

It was the fatuity of Louis XV. and his Pompadour 
that made the conquest of Canada possible. Had 
they not broken the traditionary policy of France, 
allied themselves to Austria, her ancient enemy, and 
plunged needlessly into the European war, the whole 
force of the kingdom would have been turned, from 
the first, to the humbling of England and the defence 
of the French colonies. The French soldiers left 
dead on inglorious Continental battle-fields could 
have saved Canada, and perhaps made good her claim 
to the vast territories of the West. 

But there were other contingencies. The posses- 
sion of Canada was a question of diplomacy as well 
as of war. If England conqueied her. she might 


restore her, as she had lately restored Cape Breton. 
She had an interest in keeping France alive on the 
American continent. More than one clear eye saw, 
at the middle of the last century, that the subjection 
of Canada would lead to a revolf of the British 
colonies. So long as an active and enterprising 
enemy threatened their borders, they could not break 
with the mother-country, because they needed her 
help. And if the arms of France had prospered in 
the other hemisphere; if she had gained in Europe 
or Asia territories with which to buy back what she 
had lost in America, then, in all likelihood, Canada 
would have passed again into her hands. 

The most momentous and far-reaching question 
ever brought to issue on this continent was: Shall 
France remain here, or shall she not? If, by diplo- 
macy or war, she had preserved but the half, or less 
than the half, of her American possessions, then a 
barrier would have been set to the spread of the Eng- 
lish-speaking races; there would have been no Revo- 
lutionary War; and for a long time, at least, no 
independence. It was not a question of scanty popu- 
lations strung along the banks of the St. Lawrence ; 
it was — or under a government of any worth it would 
have been — a question of the armies and generals oi 
France. America owes much to the imbecility of 
Louis XV. and the ambitious vanity and personal 
dislikes of his mistress. 

The Seven Tears' War made England what she is. 
It crippled the commerce of her rival, ruined France 


in two continents, and blighted her as a colonial 
power. It gave England the control of the seas and 
the mastery of North America and India, made her 
the first of commercial nations, and prepared that 
vast colonial system tiiat has planted new Englands 
in every quarter of the globe. And while it made 
England what she is, it supplied to the United States 
the indispensable condition of their greatness, if not 
of their national existence. 

Before entering on the story of the great contest, 
we will look at the parties to it on both sides of the 



Bpolahd IK THs Eighteenth Centubt: hsb Politioal akb 
Social Aspects ; hbb Militabt Condition. — Fbancb : hbb 


thb Nobubs, thb Clebqt, THB Pboplb. — The Kino and 
PoMPADOuB. — Thb Philosophbbs. — Gebmant. — Pbussia. — 
Fbbdbbic IL — Russia. — State of Eubopb. — Wab of thb 
AuBTBiAN Succession. — Amebican Colonies of Fbancb and 
England. — Contbabtbd Systems and theib Results. — 
Canada: its Stbong Militabt Position. —Fbbnch Claims 
TO THB Continent. — Bbitish Colonies. — New England. 
— ViBGiNiA. — Pbnnstltania. — New Yobk. — Jealousies, 
DmsiONS, Intbbnal Disputes. — Militabt Wbaknbss. 

The latter half of the reign of GeoigfiJGL was one^ 
of the most prosaic period s in English history. The 
civil wars and the Restoration had had their enthusi- 
asms, religion and liberty on one side, and loyalty 
on the other; but the old fires declined when William 
m. came to the throne, and died to ashes under the 
House of Hanover. Lojralty lost half its inspiration 
when it lost the tenet of the divine right of kings; 
and nobody could now hold that tenet with any con- 
sistency except the defeated and despairing Jacobites. 
Nor had anybody as yet proclaimed tiie rival dogma 



8 THE COMBATANTS. [1746-1756i 

of the divine right of the people. The reigiiing 
monarch held his crown neither of God nor of the 
nation, but of a parliament controlled by a ruling 
class. The Whig aristocracy had done a priceless 
service to English liberty. It was full of political 
capacity, and by no means void of patriotism; but it 
was only a part of the national life. Nor was it at 
present moved by political emotions in any high 
sense. It had done its great work when it expelled 
the StuartB and placed William of Orange on the 
throne; its ascendency was now complete. The 
Stuarts had received their death-blow at Culloden; 
and nothing was left to the dominant party but to 
dispute on subordinate questions, and contend for 
office among themselves. The Tory squires sulked 
in their country-houses, hunted foxes, and grumbled 
against the reigning dynasty, yet hardly wished to 
see the nation convulsed by a counter-revolution and 
another return of the Stuarts. 

If politics had run to commonplace, so had morals ; 
and so too had religion. Despondent writers of the 
day even complained that British courage had died 
out. There was little sign to the common eye that, 
under a dull and languid surface, forces were at work 
preparing a new life, material,' moral, and intel- 
lectual. As yet, Whitefield and Wesley had not 
wakened the drowsy conscience of the nation, nor 
the voice of William Pitt roused it like a trumpet- 

It was the unwashed and unsavory Ehgland of 

1745-1755.] ENGLAND. 9 

Hogarth, Fielding, Smollett, and Sterne; of Tom 
Jones, Squire Western, Lady Bellaston, and Parson 
Adams; of the ^^ Rake's Progress" and ^^ Marriage h 
la Mode ; " of the lords and ladies who yet live in the 
nndjning gossip of Horace Walpole, be-powdered, 
be-patched, and be-rouged, flirting at masked balls, 
playing cards till daylight, retailing scandal, and 
exchanging double meanings. Beau Nash reigned 
king over the gaming-tables of Bath; the ostrich-* 
plumes of great ladies mingled with the peacock* 
feathers of courtesans in the rotunda at Banelagh 
Grardens; and young lords in velvet suits and em« 
faroidered ru£9es played away their patrimony at 
White's Chocolate-House or Arthur's Club. Vice 
was bolder than to-day, and manners more courtly, 
perhaps, but far more course. ^ 

The humbler cleigy were thought — sometimes 
with reason — to be no fit company for gentlemen, 
and country parsons drank their ale in the squire's 
kitchen. The passenger-wagon spent the better part 
of a fortnight in creeping from London to York. 
Travellers carried pistols against footpads and ' 
mounted highwajrmen. Dick Turpin and Jack 
Sheppard were popular heroes. Tyburn counted its 
victims by scores; and as yet no Howard had ap- 
peared to reform the inhuman abominations of the 

The middle class, though fast rising in importance, 
was feebly and imperfectly represented ia Parliament. 
The boroughs were controlled by the nobility and 

10 THE COMBATANTS. [174&.1765. 

gently, or by corporations open to influence or 
bribery. Parliamentary corruption had been reduced 
to a system; and offices, sinecures, pensions, and 
gifts of money were freely used to keep ministers in 
power. The great offices of State were held by men 
sometimes of high ability, but of whom not a few 
divided their lives among politics, cards, wine, horse- 
racing, and women, till time and the gout sent them 
to the waters of Bath. The dull, pompous, and 
irascible old King had two ruling passions, — money, 
and his Continental dominions of Hanover. His 
elder son, the Prince of Wales, was a centre of oppo- 
sition to him. His younger son, the Duke of Cum- 
berland, a character far more pronounced and vigorous, 
had won the day at Culloden, and lost it at Fontenoy ; 
but whether victor or vanquished, had shown the 
same vehement bull-headed courage, of late a little 
subdued by fast-growing corpulency. The Duke of 
Newcastle, the head of the government, had gained 
power and kept it by his rank and connections, his 
wealth, his county influence, his control of boroughs, 
and the extraordinary assiduity and devotion with 
which he practised the arts of corruption. Henry 
Fox, grasping, unscrupulous, with powerful talents, 
a warm friend after his fashion, and a most indulgent 
fother; Carteret, with his strong, veisatile intellect 
and jovial intrepidity; the two Townshends, Mans- 
field, Halifax, and Chesterfield, — were conspicuous 
figures in the politics of the time. One man towered 
above them all. Pitt had many enemies and many 


174&-17W.] PRANCE. 11 

critics. They called him ambitious, audacious, arro- 
gant, theatrical, pompous, domineering; but what he 
has left for posterity is a loftiness of soul, undaunted 
courage, fiery and passionate eloquence, proud incor- 
ruptibility, domestic virtues rare in his day, un- 
bounded faith in the cause for which he stood, and 
abilities which without wealth or strong connections 
were destined to place him on the lieight of power. 
The middle class, as yet almost voiceless, looked to 
him as its champion; but he was not the champion of 
a class. His patriotism was as comprehensive as it 
was haughty and unbending. He lived for England, 
loved her with intense devotion, knew her, beUeved 
in her, and made her greatness his own; or rather, 
he was himself England incarnate. 

The nation was not then in fighting equipment. 
After the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, the army within 
the three kingdoms had been reduced to about eigh- 
teen thousand men. Added to these were the g^ar- 
lisons of Minorca and Gibraltar, and six or seven 
independent companies in the American colonies. 
Of sailors, less than seventeen thousand were left in 
the Royal Navy. Such was the condition of England 
on the eve of one of the most formidable wars in 
which she was ever engaged. 

Her rival across the Channel was drifting slowly 
and unconsciously towards the cataclysm of the 
Revolution; yet the old monarchy, full of the germs 
of decay, was still imposing and formidable. The 

12 THE COMBATAKXa [1745-175& 

House of Bourbon held the three thrones of Frarice, 
Spain, and Naples ; and their threatened union in a 
family compact was the terror of European diplomacy. 
At home France was the foremost of the Continental 
nations; and she boasted herself second only to 
Spain as a colonial power. She disputed with Eng^ 
land the mastery of India, owned the islands of 
Bourbon and Mauritius, held important possessions 
in the West Indies, and claimed all North America 
except Mexico and a strip of sea-coast Her navy 
was powerful, her army numerous and well appointed ; 
but she lacked the great commanders of the last reign. 
Soubise, Maillebois, Contades, Broglie, and Clermont 
were but weak successors of Cond^, Turenne, Ven- 
d6me, and Villars. Marshal Richelieu was supreme 
in the arts of gallantry, and more famous for con- 
quests of love than of war. The best generals of 
Louis XV. were foreigners. Lowendal sprang from 
the royal house of Denmark ; and Saxe, the best of 
all, was one of the three hundred and fifty-four bas- 
tards of Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and 
King of Poland. He was now, 1750, dying at Cham- 
bord, his iron constitution ruined by debaucheries. 

The triumph of the Bourbon monarchy was com- 
plete. The government had become one great ma- 
chine of centralized administration, with a king for 
its bead ; though a king who neither could nor would 
direct it. All strife was over between the Crown 
and the nobles ; feudalism was robbed of its vitality, 
and left the mere image of its former self, with noth- 

1746-1766.] FRANCE. 18 

ing alive but its abuses, its caste privileges, its ex** 
actions, its pride and vanity, its power to vex and 
oppress. In England,' the nobility were a living part 
of the nation, and if they had privileges, they paid 
for them by constant service to the State ; in France, 
they had no political life, and were separated from 
the people by sharp lines of demarcation. From 
warrior chiefs, they had changed to courtiers. Those 
of them who could afford it, and many who could 
not, left their estates to the mercy of stewards, and 
gathered at Versailles to revolve about the throne as 
glittering satellites, paid in pomp, empty distinctions, 
or rich sinecures, for the power they had lost. They 
ruined their vassals to support the extravagance by 
which they ruined themselves. Such as stayed at 
home were objects of pity and scorn. " Out of your 
Majesty's presence," said one of them, ^^we are not 
only wretched, but ridiculous." 

YersaiHes was like a vast and gorgeous theatre, 
where all were actors and spectators at once; and all 
played their parts to perfection. Here swarmed by 
thousands this silken nobility, whose ancestors rode 
cased in iron. Pageant followed pageant. A picture 
of the time preserves for us an evening in the great 
hall of the Ch&teau, where the King, with piles of 
louis d^or before him, sits at a large oval green table, 
throwing the dice, among princes and princesses, 
dukes and duchesses, ambassadors, marshals of 
Franco, and a vast throng of courtiers, like an ani- 
mated bed of tulips; for men and women alike wear 

14 THE COMBATANIS. [1745-175& 

bright and varied colois. Above are the frescoes of 
Le Brun; around are walls of sculptured and inlaid 
marbles, with mirrors that reflect the restless splendors 
of the scene and the blaze of chandeliers, sparkling 
with crystal pendants. Pomp, magnificence, profu- 
sion, were a business and a duty at the Court. 
Versailles was a gulf into which the labor of France 
poured its earnings; and it was never full. 

Here the graces and charms were a political power. 
Women had prodigious influence, and the two sexes 
were never more alike. Men not only dressed in 
colors, but they wore patches and carried mufEs. 
The robust qualities of the old nobility still lingered 
among the exiles of the provinces, while at Court 
they had melted into refinements tainted with corrup- 
tion. Tet if the butterflies of Versailles had lost 
virility, they had not lost court^. They fought as 
gayly as they danced. In the halls which they 
haunted of yore, turned now into a historical picture- 
gallery, one sees them still, on the canvas of Lenfant, 
Lepaon, or Vemet, facing death with careless gal- 
lantry, in their small three-cornered hats, powdered 
perukes, embroidered coats, and lace ru£9es. Their 
valets served them with ices in the trenches, under 
the cannon of besieged towns. A troop of actors 
formed part of the army-traip of Marshal Saxe. At 
night there was a comedy, aqiSiit) or a ball, and in 
the morning a battle. Saxe, ^however, himself a 
sturdy Grerman, while he recognized their fighting 
value, and knew well how to make the best of it. 

1745-1755.] FRANCE. 15 

sometimes complained that they were volatile, exoit- 
able, and difficiUt to manage. ^ 

The weight of the Court, with its pomps, luxuries, 
and wars, bore on the classes least able to support 
it. The poorest were taxed most; the richest not at 
all. The nobles, in the main, were free from imposts. 
The clergy, who had vast possessions, were wholly 
free, though they consented to make voluntary gifts 
to the Crown; and when, in a time of emergency, 
the minister Machault required them, in common 
with all others hitherto exempt, to contribute a 
twentieth of their revenues to the charges of govern- 
ment, they passionately refused, declaring that they 
would obey God rather than the King. The culti- 
vators of the soil were ground to the earth by a 
threefold extortion, — the seigniorial dues, the tithes 
of the Church, and the multiplied exactions of the 
Crown, enforced with merciless rigor by the farmers 
of the revenue, who enriched themselves by wring- 
ing the peasant on the one hand, and cheating the 
King on the other. A few great cities shone with 
all that is most brilliant in society, intellect, and 
concentred wealth; while the country that paid the 
costs lay in ignorance and penury, crushed and 
despairing. On the inhabitants of towns, too, the 
demands of the tax-gatherer were extreme; but here 
the immense vitality of the French people bore up 
the burden. While agriculture languished, and 
intolerable oppression turned peasants into beggars 
or desperadoes ; while the clergy were sapped by cor- 

16 THE COMBATANTfik [1745-1766. 

ruption, and the nobles enervated by luxuiy and 
ruined by extravagance, — the middle class was grow- 
ing in thrift and strength. Arts and commerce pros- 
pered, and the seaports were alive with foreign trade. 
Wealth tended from all sides towards the centre. 
The King did not love his capital; but he and his 
favorites amused themselves with adorning it. Some 
of the chief embellishments that make Paris what it 
is to-day — the Place de la Concordei the Champs 
£lys^es, and many of the palaces of the Faubourg 
St. Germain — date from this reign. 

One of the vicious conditions of the time was the 
separation in sympathies and interests of the four 
great classes of the nation, — clergy, nobles, burghers, 
and peasants; and each of these, again, divided itself 
into incoherent fragments. France was an aggregate 
of disjointed parts, held together by a meshwork of 
arbitrary power, itself touched with decay. A dis- 
astrous blow was struck at the national welfare when 
the government of Louis XV. revived the odious 
persecution of the Huguenots. The attempt to scour 
heresy out of France cost her the most industrious 
and virtuous part of her population, and robbed her 
of those most fit to resist the mocking scepticism and 
turbid passions that burst out like a deluge with the 

Her manifold ills were summed up in the King. 
Since the Valois, she had had no monarch so worth- 
less. He did not want understanding, still less the 
graces of person. In his youth the people called him 

the ^ Well-bdoTed : " Lot br the ndddle of die c«&- 
taxy tiiey so deusicd Liin xbMX he dired noc pui 
thioogh Pazis. lesi the mob sfaoold execri&e him. 
He had not the Ti^co- of the troe tmnt; hot his 
Lu^uoT, his hiOT^d of &II eSoit. his prciooDd selfish- 
DesB, bis listless disregard of paUic duty, sod his 
effemimtie liberdmsia, mixed with sapeistitioos deTi>- 
tioo, made him do less a nsrirmal cmse. Louis XIII. 
was eqosIlT imfit to goTem; bat he gare the zeins to 
the Great CaidinsL Louis XV. abandoiied them to 
a friToloQS mistress, content that she should rule on 
fOPi^jtinn of amiising him. It was a haid task; ret 
Madame de Pcappadoor aee«nplished it by methods 
infamoos to him and to her. She gained and long 
kept the power that she coreted: filled the Bastille 
witli her enemies; made and immade ministezs; 
appointed and removed geneials. Great qnestions of 
policy were at the mercj of her a^oices. Through 
her firroloiis vanitr, her pezs<»ial likes and dislikes, 
all the great departments of gOTemment — azmj, 
naTT, war, foreign affairs, justice, finance — changed 
from hand to hand incessantly, and this at a time of 
crisis when the kingdom needed the steadiest and 
sorest g^iudanoe. Few of the officers of State, except, 
-p^Thmjm^ D^Aigenson, conld rentore to disiegaid 
her. She turned out Orry, the comptroUer-generaL 
pat her farorite, Machanlt, into his place, then made 
hL "keeper of the seals, and at last minister of 
marine. The Marquis de Paysienx, in the ministry 
of foreign affairs, and the Comte de Saint-Florentin, 

TOl* I. — 2 

18 THE COMBATANTS. [1745.175& 

charged with the affairs of the clergy, took their cue 
from her. The King stinted her in nothing. First 
and last, she is reckoned to have cost him thirty- 
six million francs, —answering now to more than as 
many dollars. 

The prestige of the monarchy was declining with 
the ideas that had given it life and strength. A 
growing disi^spect ffr king, minist^, and clergy 
was beginning to prepare the catastrophe that was 
still some forty years in the future. While the 
valleys and low places of the kingdom were dark 
with misery and squalor, its heights were bright with 
a gay society, — elegant, fastidious, witty, — craving 
the pleasures of the mind as well as of the senses, 
criticising everything, analyzing everything, believ- 
ing nothing. Voltaire was in the midst of it, hating, 
with all his vehement soul, the abuses that swarmed 
about him, and assailing them with the inexhaustible 
shafts of his restless and piercing intellect. Montes- 
quieu was showing to a despot-ridden age the prin- 
ciples of political freedom. Diderot and D'Alembert 
were beginning their revolutionary EncyclopsBdia. 
Rousseau was sounding the first notes of his mad 
eloquence, — the wild revolt of a passionate and dis- 
eased genius against a world of falsities and wrongs. 
The salons of Paris, cloyed with other pleasures, 
alive to all that was racy and new, welcomed the 
pungent doctrines, and played with them as children 
play with fire, thinking no danger; as time went on, 
even embraced them in a genuine spirit of hope and 

1745-1766.) THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. 19 

good-will for humanity. The Revolution began at 
the top, — in the world of fashion, birth, and intel- 
lect, — and propagated itself downwards. " We 
walked on a carpet of flowers," Count S^gur after- 
wards said, "unconscious that it covered an abyss; " 
till the gulf yawned at last, and swallowed them. 

Eastward, beyond the Rhine, lay the heterogeneous 
patchwork of the Holy Roman, or Germanic, Empire. 
The sacred bonds that throughout the Middle Ages 
had held together its innumerable fragments had lost 
their strength. The empire decayed as a whole ; but 
not so the parts that composed it. In the south the 
House of Austria reigned over a formidable assem- 
blage of States; and in the north the House of 
Brandenburg, promoted to royalty half a century 
before, had raised Prussia into an importance far 
beyond her extent and population. In her dissevered 
rags of territory lay the destinies of Germany. It 
was the late King, that honest, thrifty, dogged, head- 
strong despot, Frederic William, who had made his 
kingdom what it was, trained it to the perfection of 
drill, and left it to his son, Frederic II., the best 
engine of war in Europe. Frederic himself had 
passed between the upper and nether millstones of 
paternal discipline. Never did prince undergo such 
an apprenticeship. His father set him to the work 
of an overseer, or steward, flung plates at his head 
in the family circle, thrashed him with his rattan in 
public, bullied him for submitting to such treatment, 

20 THE COMBATANTS. [1745-1755. 

and imprisoned him for trying to run away from it. 
He came at last out of purgatory; and Europe felt 
him to her farthest bounds. This bookish, philoso- 
phizing, verse-making cynic and profligate was soon 
to approve himself the first warrior of his time, and 
one of the first of all time. 

Another power had lately risen on the European 
world. Peter the Great, half hero, half savage, had 
roused the inert barbarism of Russia into a titanic 
life. His daughter Elizabeth had succeeded to his 
throne, — heiress of his sensuality, if not of his 
talents. '> 

Over all the continent the aspect of the times was 
the same. Power had everywhere left the plains and 
the lower slopes, and gathered at the summits. 
Popular life was at a stand. No great idea stirred 
the nations to their depths. The religious convul- 
sions of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were 
over, and the earthquake of the French Revolution 
had not begun. At the middle of the eighteenth 
century the history of Europe turned on the balance 
of power; the observance of treaties; inheritance and 
succession; rivalries of sovereign houses struggling 
to win power or keep it, encroach on neighbors, or 
prevent neighbors from encroaching; bargains, in- 
trigue, force, diplomacy, and the musket, in the 
interest not of peoples but of rulers. Princes, great 
and small, brooded over some real or fancied wrong, 

1745-1765.] THE STATE OF EUROPE. 21 

nuised some dubious claim bom of a maniage, a will, 
or an ancient covenant fished out of the abyss of 
time, and watched their moment to make it good« 
The general opportunity came when, in 1740, the 
Emperor Charles VI. died and bequeathed his per- 
sonal dominions of the House of Austria to his 
daughter, Maria Theresa. The chief Powers of 
Europe had been pledged in advance to sustain the 
will; and pending the event, the veteran Prince 
Eugene had said that two hundred thousand soldiers 
would be worth all their guaranties together. The 
two hundred thousand were not there, and not a sov- 
ereign kept his word. They flocked to share the 
spoil, and parcel out the motley heritage of the 
young Queen. Frederic of Prussia led the way, 
invaded her province of Silesia, seized it, and kept 
it. The Elector of Bavaria and the King of Spain 
claimed their share, and the Elector of Saxony and 
the King of Sardinia prepared to follow the example. 
France took part with Bavaria, and intrigued to set 
the imperial crown on the head of the Elector, think- 
ing to ruin her old enemy, the House of Austria, and 
rule Grermany through an emperor too weak to dis- 
pense with her support. England, jealous of her 
des^ns, trembling for the balance of power, and 
anxious for the Hanoverian possessions of her King, 
tbxew herself into the strife on the side of Austria. 
It was now that, in the Diet at Presburg, the beauti- 
ful and distressed Queen, her infant in her arms, 
made her memorable appeal to the wild chivaliy of 

22 THE C0MBATAKT8. [1745-1766. 

her Hungarian nobles; and, clashing their swords, 
they shouted with one voice: "Let us die for our 
king, Maria Theresa;" Moriamur pro rege nostro^ 
Maria Theresid, — one of the most dramatic scenes in 
history; not quite true, perhaps, but near the truth. 
Then came that confusion worse confounded called 
the war of the Austrian Succession, with its Mollwitz, 
its Dettingen, its Fontenoy, and its Scotch episode 
of Culloden. The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle closed 
the strife in 1748. Europe had time to breathe; but 
the germs of discord remained alive. 


The French claimed all America, from the Alle- 
ghanies to the Rocky Mountains, and from Mexico 
and Florida to the North Pole, except only the ill- 
defined possessions of the English on the borders of 
Hudson Bay; and to these vast regions, with adja- 
cent islands, they gave the general name of New 
France. They controlled the highways of the con- 
tinent, for they held its two great rivers. First, they 
had seized the St. Lawrence, and then planted them- 
selves at the mouth of the Mississippi. Canada at 
the north, and Louisiana at the south, were the keys 
of a boundless interior, rich with incalculable possi- 
bilities. The English colonies, ranged along the 
Atlantic coast, had no royal road to the great inland, 
and were, in a manner, shut between the mountains 
and the sea. At the middle of the century they 

1746-1756.] FRENCH COLONIES. 28 

ntunbered in all, from Georgia to Maine, about eleven 
hundred and sixty thousand white inhabitants. By 
the census of 1754 Canada had but fifty-five Ihou- 

' sand.^ Add those of Louisiana and Acadia, and the 
whole white population under the French flag might 
be something more than eighty thousand. Here is 
an enormous disparity; and hence it has been argued 
that the success of the English colonies and the 
&ilure of the French was not due to difference of 
religious and political systems, but simply to numeri- 

. cal preponderance. But this preponderance itself 
grew out of a difference of sjrstems. We have said 
before, and it cannot be said too often, that in mak- 
ing Canada a citadel of the State religion, — a holy 
of holies of exclusive Roman Catholic orthodoxy, — 
the clerical monitors of the Crown robbed their coun- 
try of a transatlantic empire. New France could 
not grow with a priest on guard at the gate to let in 
none but such as pleased him. One of the ablest of 
Canadian governors. La Galissoni&re, seeing the 
feebleness of the colony compared with the vastness 
of its claims, advised the King to send ten thousand 
peasants to occupy the valley of the Ohio, and hold 
back the British swarm that was just then pushing 
its advance-guard over the Alleghanies. It needed 
no effort of the King to people his waste domain, 
not with ' ten thousand peasants, but with twenty 

1 CenaiueM of Canada, It. 61. Rameau (La France aux Coltmien, 
ii 81) estiiiuites the Canadian population, in 1765, at siztj-six thou- 
sand, besides voyageura, Indian traders, etc. Yaudreuil, in 1760, 
places it at seren^ thousand. 

24 THE COMBATANTS. [1745-175a 

times ten thousand Frenchmen of every station, — 
the most industrious, most instructed, most dis* 
ciplined by adversity and capable of self-rule, that 
the country could boast. While La Galissoni^re was 
asking for colonists, the agents of the Crown, set 
on by priestly fanaticism, or designing selfishness 
masked with fanaticism, were pouring volleys of 
musketry into Huguenot congregations, imprisoning 
for life those innocent of all but their faith, — the 
men in the galleys, the women in the pestiferous 
dungeons of Aigues Mortes, — hanging their ministers, 
kidnapping their children, and reviving, in short, 
the dragonnades. Now, as in the past century, many 
of the victims escaped to the British colonies, and 
became a part of them. The Huguenots would have 
hailed as a boon the permission to emigrate under 
the fleur-de-llB, and build up a Protestant France in 
the valleys of the West. It would have been a bane 
of absolutism, but a national glory; would have set 
bounds to English colonization, and changed the face 
of the continent. The opportunity was spumed. 
The dominant Church clung to its policy of rule and 
ruin. France built its best colony on a principle of 
exclusion, and failed; England reversed the system, 
and succeeded. 

I have shown elsewhere the aspects of Canada, 
where a rigid scion of the old European tree was set 
to grow in the wilderness. The military governor, 
holding his miniature court on the rock of Quebec ; 
the feudal proprietors, whose domains lined the 

1745-1766.] CANADA. 25 

shores of the St. Lawrence; the peasant; the roving 
bushranger; the half -tamed savage, with crucifix and 
scalping-knife; priests; friars; nuns; and soldiers, 
— mingled to form a society the most picturesque 
on the continent. What distinguished it from the 
France that produced it was a total absence of revolt 
against the laws of its being, — an absolute conser- 
vatism, an unquestioning acceptance of Church and 
King. The Canadian, ignorant of everything but 
what the priest saw fit to teach him, had never heard 
of Voltaire ; and if he had known him, would have 
thought him a devil. He had, it is true, a spirit of 
insubordination bom of the freedom of the forest; 
bat if his instincts rebelled, his mind and soul were 
passively submissive. The unchecked control of a 
hierarchy robbed him of the independence of intellect 
and character, without which, under the conditions 
of modem life, a people must resign itself to a posi- 
tion of inferiority. Yet Canada had a vigor of her 
own. It was not in spiritual deference only that she 
differed from the country of her birth. Whatever 
she had caught of its corruptions, she had caught 
nothing of its effeminacy. The mass of her people 
lived in a rude poverty, — not abject, like the peasant 
of old France, nor ground down by the tax-gatherer; 
while those of the higher ranks — all more or less en- 
gaged in pursuits of war or adventure, and inured 
to rough joumeyings and forest exposures — were 
rugged as their climate. Even the French regular 
troops, sent out to defend the colony, caught its 

26 THE COMBATANTS. [1745-1765. 

hardy spirit, and set an example of stubborn fight- 
ing which their comrades at home did not always 

"^Canada lay ensconced behind rocks and forests. 
All along her southern boundaries, between her and 
her English foes, lay a broad tract of wilderness, 
shaggy with primeval woods. Innumerable streams 
gurgled beneath their shadows; innumerable lakes 
gleamed in the fiery sunsets; innumerable mountains 
bared their rocky foreheads to the wind. These 
wastes were ranged by her savage allies, — M icmacs, 
Etech^mins, Abenakis, Caughnawagas ; and no 
enemy could steal upon her unawares. Through the 
midst of them stretched Lake Champlain, pointing 
straight to the heart of the British settlements, — a 
watery thoroughfare of mutual attack, and the only 
approach by which, without a long ditour by wilder- 
ness or sea, a hostile army could come within striking 
distance of the colony. The French advanced post 
of Fort Frederic, called Crown Point by the English, 
barred the narrows of the lake, which thence spread 
northward to the portals of Canada guarded by Fort 
St. Jean. Southwestward, some fourteen hundred 
miles as a bird flies, and twice as far by the prac- 
ticable routes of travel, was Louisiana, the second of 
the two heads of New France ; while between lay the 
realms of solitude where the Mississippi rolled its 
sullen tide, and the Ohio wound its belt of silver 
through the verdant woodlands. 

To whom belonged this world of prairies and 

1745-1765.] NEW ENGLAND. 27 

forests? France claimed it by right of discovery and 
occupation. It was her explorers who, after De 
Soto, first set foot on it. The question of right, it is 
true, mattered little; for, right or wrong, neither 
claimant would yield her pretensions so long as she 
had strength to uphold them; yet one point is worth 
a moment's notice. The French had established an 
excellent system in the distribution of their American 
lands. Whoever received a grant from the Crown 
was required to improve it, and this within reasonable 
time. If he did not, the land ceased to be his, and 
was given to another more able or industrious. An 
international extension of her own principle would 
have destroyed the pretensions of France to all the 
countries of the West. She had called them hers for 
three-fourths of a century, and they were still a howl- 
ing waste, yielding nothing to civilization but beaver- 
skins, with here and there a fort, trading-post, or 
mission, and three or four pimy hamlets by the Mis- 
sissippi and the Detroit. We have seen how she 
might have made for herself an indisputable title, 
and peopled the solitudes with a host to maintain it. 
She would not; others were at hand who both would 
and could; and the late claimant, disinherited and 
forlorn, would soon be left to count the cost of her 

The thirteen British colonies were alike, insomuch 
as they all had representative governments, and a 
basis of English law. But the differences among 

28 THE COMBATANTS. [1745-1766. 

them were great. Some were purely English; others 
were made up of various races, though the Anglo- 
Saxon was always predominant. Some had one pre- 
vailing religious creed; others had many creeds. 
Some had charters, and some had not. In most cases 
the governor was appointed by the Crown; in Penn- 
sylvania and Maryland he was appointed by a feudal 
proprietor, and in Connecticut and Rhode Island he 
was chosen by the people. The differences of dispo- 
sition and character were still gijsater than those of 

The four northern colonies, known collectively as 
New England, were an exception to the general rule 
of diversity. The smallest, Rhode Island, had feat- 
ures all its own; but the rest were substantially one 
in nature and origin. The principal among them, 
Massachusetts, may serve as the type of all. It was 
a mosaic of little village republics, firmly cemented 
together, and formed into a single body politic through 
representatives sent to the " General Court " at Boston. 
Its government, originally theocratic, now tended to 
democracy, ballasted as yet by strong traditions of 
respect for established worth and ability, as well as 
by the influence of certain families prominent in 
affairs for generations. Yet there were no distinct 
class-lines, and popular power, like popular educa- 
tion, was widely diffused. Practically Massachusetts 
was almost independent of the mother-country. Its 
-people were purely English, of sound yeoman stock, 
with an abundant leaven drawn from the best of the 

1745-1755.] NEW ENGLAND. 29 

Puritan gentry; but their original character had 
been somewhat modified by changed conditions of 
life. A harsh and exacting creed, with its stiff for- 
malism and its prohibition of wholesome recreation; 
excess in the pursuit of gain, — the only resource left 
to energies robbed of their natural play; the struggle 
for existence on a hard and barren soil ; and the iso- 


lation of a narrow village life, — joined to produce, 
in the meaner sort, qualities which were unpleasant, 
and sometimes repulsive. Puritanism was not an 
unmixed blessing. Its view of human nature was 
dark, and its attitude towards it one of repression. 
It strove to crush out not only what is evil, but much 
that is innocent and salutary. Human nature so 
treated will take its revenge, and for every vice that 
it loses find another instead. Nevertheless, while 
New England Puritanism bore its peculiar crop of 
faults, it produced also many good and soimd fruits. 
An uncommon vigor, joined to the hardy virtues of 
a masculine race, marked the New England type. 
The sinews, it is true, were hardened at the expense 
of blood and flesh, — and this literally as well aa 
figuratively; but the staple of character was a sturdj/ 
conscientiousness, an undespairing courage, patriot* 
ism, public spirit, sagacity, and a strong good sense. 
A great change, both for better and for worse, has 
since come over it, due largely to reaction against the 
unnatural rigors of the past. That mixture, which 
is now too common, of cool emotions with excitable 
brains, was then rarely seen. The New England 

80 THE COMBATANTS. [1745-1755. 

colonies abounded in high examples of public and 
private virtue, though not always under the most 
prepossessing forms. They were conspicuous, more- 
over, for intellectual activity, and were by no means 
without intellectual eminence. Massachusetts had 
produced at least two men whose fame had crossed 
the sea, — Edwards, who out of the grim theology of 
Calvin mounted to sublime heights of mjrstical specu- 
lation; and Franklin, famous already by his discov- 
eries in electricity. On the other hand, there were 
few genuine New Englanders who, however person- 
ally modest, could divest themselves of the notion 
that they belonged to a people in an especial manner 
the object of divine approval ; and this self -righteous- 
ness, along with certain other traito, failed to com- 
mend the Puritan colonies to the favor of their 
fellows. Then, as now. New England was best 
known to her neighbors by her worst side. 

. In one point, however, she found general applause. 

^ She was regarded as the most military among the 
British colonies. This reputation was well founded, 
and is easily explained. More than all the rest, she 
lay open to attack. The long waving line of the 
New England border, with its lonely hamlets and 
scattered farms, extended from the Kennebec to 
beyond the Connecticut, and was everywhere vulner- 
able to the guns and tomahawks of the neighboring 
French and their savage allies. The colonies towards 
the south had thus far been safe from danger. New 
York alone was within striking distance of the Cana- 

1745-1765.] VIRGINIA. 81 

dian war-parties. That province then consisted of a 
line of settlements up the Hudson and the Mohawk, 
and was little exposed to attack except at its nortliem 
end, which was guarded by the fortified town of 
Albany, with its outlying posts, and by the friendly 
and warlike Mohawks, whose ^^ castles" were close 
at hand. Thus New England had borne the heaviest 
brunt of the preceding wars, not only by the forest, 
but also by the sea; for the French of Acadia and 
Cape Breton confronted her coast, and she was often at 
Wows with them. Fighting had been a necesaiiy with 
her, and she had met the emergency after a method 
extremely defective, but the best that circumstances 
would permit. Having no trained officers and no 
disciplined soldiers, and being too poor to maintain 
either, she borrowed her warriors from the workshop 
and the plough, and officered them with lawyers, 
merchants, mechanics, or farmers. To compare them 
with good reg^ar troops would be folly; but they 
did, on the whole, better than could have been ex- 
pected, and in the last war achieved the brilliant 
success of the capture of Louisbourg. This exploit, 
due partly to native hardihood and partly to good 
luck, greatly enhanced the military repute of New 
England, or rather was one of the chief sources of it. 
The great colony of Virginia stood in strong con- 
trast to New England. In both the population was 
English; but the one was Puritan with Roundhead 
traditions, and the other, so far as concerned its gov* 
eming class, Anglican, with Cavalier traditions. In 


82 THE COMBATANTS. [1746-1765. 

the one, every man, woman, and child could read 
and write; in the other, Sir William Berkeley once 
thanked God that there were no free schools, and no 
prospect of any for a century. The hope had found 
fruition. The lower classes of Virginia were as un- 
taught as the warmest friend of popular ignorance 
could wish. New England had a native literature 
more than respectable under the circumstances, while 
Virginia had none; numerous industries, while 
Virginia was all agriculture, with but a single crop; 
a homogeneous society and a democratic spirit, while 
her rival was an aristocracy. Virginian society was 
distinctly stratified. On the lowest level were the 
negro slaves, nearly as numerous as all the rest to- 
gether; next, the indented servants and the poor 
whites, of low origin, good-humored, but boisterous, 
and sometimes vicious ; next, the small and despised 
class of tradesmen and mechanics ; next, the farmers 
and lesser planters, who were mainly of good English 
stock, and who merged insensibly into the ruling 
class of the great landowners. It was these last who 
represented the colony and made the laws. They 
may be described as English country squires trans- 
planted to a warm climate and turned slave-masters. 
They sustained their position by entails, and con- 
stantly undermined it by the reckless profusion which 
ruined them at last. Many of them were well bom, 
with an immense pride of descent, increased by the 
habit of domination. Indolent and energetic by 
turns; rich in natural gifts and often poor in book- 

1745-1755.] PENNSYLVANIA. 88 

learning, though some, in the lack of good teaching 
at home, had been bred in the English uniyersities; 
high-spiiited, generous to a fault; keeping open house 
in their capacious mansions, among vast tobacco-fields 
and toiling negroes, and living in a rude pomp where 
the fashions of St. James were somewhat oddly 
grafted on the roughness of the plantation, — what 
they wanted in schooling was supplied by an educa- 
tion which books alone would have been impotent to 
give, the education which came with the possession 
and exercise of political power, and the sense of a 
position to maintain, joined to a bold spirit of inde- 
pendence and a patriotic attachment to the Old 
Dominion. They were few in nimiber; they raced, 
gambled, drank, and swore ; they did everything that 
in Puritan eyes was most reprehensible; and in the 
day of need they gave the United Colonies a body of 
statesmen and orators which had no equal on^e 
continent. A vigorous aristocracy favors the gi^wth 
of personal eminence, even in those who are pot of 
it, but only near it. 7( 

The essential antagonism of Virginia and New 
England was afterwards to become, and to remain for 
a century, an element of the first influence in Ameri- 
can history. Each might have learned much from 
the other; but neither did so till, at last, the strife 
of their contending principles shook the continent. 
Pennsylvania differed widely from both. She was a 
conglomerate of creeds and races, — English, Irish, 
(Germans, Dutch, and Swedes; Quakers, Lutherans, 

YOU I. — 3 

84 THE COMBATANTS. [1745-1755 

Presbyterians, Romanists, Moravians, and a variety 
of nondescript sects. The Quakers prevailed in the 
eastern districts; quiet, industrious, virtuous, and 
serenely obstinate. The Germans were strongest 
towards the centre of the colony, and were chiefly 
peasants; successful farmers, but dull, ignorant, and 
superstitious. Towards the west were the Irish, of 
whom some were Celts, always quarrelling with their 
German neighbors, who detested them; but the 
greater part were Protestants of Scotch descent, from 
Ulster; a vigorous border population. Virginia and 
New England had each a strong distinctive character. 
Pennsylvania, with her heterogeneous population, 
had none but that which she owed to the sober 
neutral tints of Quaker existence. A more thriving 
colony there was not on the continent. Life, if 
monotonous, was smooth and contented. Trade and 
the arts grew. Philadelphia, next to Boston, was 
the largest town in British America; and was, more- 
over, the intellectual centre of the middle and southern 
colonies. Unfortunately, for her credit in the ap- 
proaching war, the Quaker influence made Pennsyl- 
vania non-combatant. Politically, too, she was an 
anomaly ; for, though utterly unfeudal in disposition 
and character, she was under feudal superiors in the 
persons of the representatives of William Penn, the 
original grantee. 

New York had not as yet reached the relative 
prominence which her geographical position and 
inherent strength afterwards gave her. The English, 

1745-1766.] NEW YORK. 85 

joined to the Dutch, the original settlers, were the 
dominant population; but a half -score of other lan- 
guages were spoken in the province, the chief among 
them being that of the Huguenot French in the 
southern parts, and that of the Germans on the 
Mohawk. In religion, the province was divided 
between the Anglican Church, with government 
support and popular dislike, and numerous dissenting 
sects, chiefly Lutherans, Independents, Presbyterians, 
and members of the Dutch Reformed Church. The 
little city of New York, like its great successor, was 
the most cosmopolitan place on the continent, and 
probably the gayest. It had, in abundance, balls, 
concerts, theatricals, and evening clubs, with plenti- 
ful dances and other amusements for the poorer 
classes. Thither in the winter months came the 
great hereditary proprietors on the Hudson; for the 
old Dutch feudality still held its own, and the manors 
of Van Rensselaer, Cortland, and Livingston, with 
their seigniorial privileges, and the great estates and 
numerous tenantry of the Schuylers and other leading 
families, formed the basis of an aristocracy, some of 
whose members had done good service to the prov- 
ince, and were destined to do more. Pennsylvania 
was feudal in form, and not in spirit; Virginia in 
spirit, and not in form; New England in neither; 
and New York largely in both. This social crystal- 
lization had, it is true, many opponents. In politics, 
as in religion, there were sharp antagonisms and fre- 
quent quarrels. They centred in the city; for in the 


86 THE COMBATANTS. [1745-1755. 

well-stocked dwellings of the Dutch farmers along 
\ the Hudson there reigned a tranquil and prosperous 
routine ; and the Dutch border town of Albany had 
not its like in America for unruffled conservatism and 
quaint picturesqueness. 

Of the other colonies, the briefest mention will 
suffice: New Jersey, with its wholesome population 
of farmers; tobacco-growing Maryland, which, but 
for its proprietary government and numerous Roman 
Catholics, might pass for another Virginia, inferior in 
growth, and less decisive in features; Delaware, a 
modest appendage of Pennsylvania; wild and rude 
North Carolina; and, farther on. South Carolina and 
Georgia, too remote from the seat of war to take a 
noteworthy part in iU JThe attitude of these various 
colonies towards each other is hardly conceivable to 
an American of the present time. They had no 
political tie except a common allegiance to the British 
Crown. Communication between them was difficult 
and slow, by rough roads traced often through 
primeval forests. Between some of them there was 
less of sympathy than of jealousy kindled by con- 
flicting interests or perpetual disputes concerning 
boundaries. The patriotism of the colonist was 
bounded by the lines of his government, except in 
the compact and kindred colonies of New England, 
which were socially united, though politically dis- 
tinct. The country of the New Yorker was New 
York, and the country of the Virginian was Virginia. 
The New England colonies had once confederated; 

1746-1766.] COLONIAL DISCORD. 87 

bat| kindred as they were, they had long ago dropped 
apart. William Penn proposed a plan of colonial 
union wholly fruitless. James II. tried to unite all 
the northern colonies under one government; but the 
attempt came to naught. Each stood aloof, jealously 
independent. At rare intervals, under the pressure 
of an emergency, some of them would try to act in 
concert; and, except in New England, the results 
had been most discouraging. Nor was it this segre- 
gation only that unfitted them for war. They were 
all subject to popular legislatures, through whom 
alone money and men could be raised; and these 
elective bodies were sometimes factious and selfish, 
and not always either far^ighted or reasonable. 
Moreover, they were in a state of ceaseless friction 
with their governors, who represented the King, or, 
what was worse, the feudal proprietary. These dis- 
putes. though varying in inteL^, ^ found every- 
where except in the two small colonies which chose 
their own governors ; and they were premonitions of 
the movement towards independence which ended in 
the war of Revolution. The occasion of difference 
mattered little. Active or latent, the quarrel was 
alwajrs present. In New York it turned on a ques- 
tion of the governor's salary; in Pennsylvania on the 
taxation of the proprietary estates ; in Virginia on a 
fee exacted for the issue of land patents. It was 
sure to arise whenever some public crisis gave the 
representatives of the people an opportunity of extort- 
ing concessions from the representative of the Crown, 

88 THE COMBATANTS. [1746-1765. 

or gave the representative of the Crown an oppor- 
tunity to gain a point for prerogative. That is to 
say, the time when action wias most needed was the 
time chosen for obstructing it. 

In Canada there was no popular legislature to 
embarrass the central power. The people, like an 
army, obeyed the word of command, — a military 
advantage beyond all price. 

Divided in government; divided in origin, feel- 
ings, and principles ; jealous of each other, jealous of 
the Crown; the people at war with the executive, 
and, by the fermentation of internal politics, blinded 
to an outward danger that seemed remote and vague, 
— such were the conditions under which the British 
colonies drifted into a war that was to decide the fate 
of the continent. 

This war was the strife of a united and concentred 
few against a divided and discordant many. It was 
the strife, too, of the past against the future ; of the 
old against the new; of moral and intellectual torpor 
against moral and inteUectual life;- of barren absolut- 
ism against a liberty, crude, incoherent, and chaotic, 
yet full of prolific vitality. 




La GALiBSOiriiiiB. — English Encroachment. — Mission of C:feLO« 
BOH. — Tbs Great West: its European Claimants; its 
Indian Population. — English Fur-Traders. — C^loron on 
THE Alleghany: his Reception; his Difficulties. — Des- 
cent of the Ohio. — Cotert Hostility. — Ascent of the 
Miami. — La Demoiselle. — Dark Prospects for France. — 
Christopher Gist, George Croghan : their Western Mission. 
— pickawillany. — english ascendency. — english dissbnr 
SIGN AND Rivalry. — The Key of the Great West. 

When the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed, 
the Marquis de la Galissonidre ruled over Canada. 
Like all the later Canadian governors, he was a naval 
officer; and, a few years after, he made himself 
famous by a victory, near Minorca, over the English 
admiral Byng, — an achievement now remembered 
chiefly by the fate of the defeated commander, judi- 
cially murdered as the scapegoat of an imbecile 
ministry. La Galissoniere was a humpback ; but his 
deformed person was animated by a bold spirit and a 
strong and penetrating intellect. He was the chief 
representative of the American policy of France. He 
felt that, cost what it might, she must hold fast to 
Canada, and link her to Louisiana by chains of forts 

40 CJfiLORON DE BIENVILLE. [1749-1752. 

strong enough to hold back the British colonies, and 
cramp their growth by confinement within narrow 
limits ; while French settlers, sent from the mother- 
country, should spread and multiply in the broad 
valleys of the interior. It is true, he said, that 
Canada and her dependencies have always been a 
burden ; but they are necessary as a barrier against 
English ambition ; and to abandon them is to abandon 
ourselves; for if we suffer our enemies to become 
masters in America, their trade and naval power will 
grow to vast proportions, and they will draw from 
their colonies a wealth that will make them pre- 
ponderant in Europe.^ 

The treaty had done nothing to settle the vexed 
question of boundaries between France and her rival. 
It had but staved off the inevitable conflict. Mean- 
while, the English traders were crossing the moun- 
tains from Pennsylvania and Virginia, poaching on 
the domain which France claimed as hers, ruining 
the French fur-trade, seducing the Indian allies of 
Canada, and stirring them up against her. Worse 
still, English land speculators 'were beginning to 
follow. Something must be done, and that promptly, 
to drive back the intruders, and vindicate French 
rights in the valley of the Ohio. To this end the 
governor sent C^loron de Bienville thither in the 
summer of 1749. 

He was a chevalier de St. Louis and a captain in 

1 La Galissoni^re, M€moire sur les Colonies de la France dans 
"^Amiriqu/e septentrionale. 

1749-1752.] EKRAND OF CELORON. 41 

the colony troops. Under him went fourteen officers 
and cadets, twenty soldiers, a hundred and eighty 
Canadians, and a band of Indians, all in twenty-three 
birch-bark canoes. They left La Chine on the fif- 
teenth of June, and pushed up the rapids of the St. 
Lawrence, losing a man and damaging several canoes 
on the way. Ten days brought them to the mouth 
of the Oswegatchie, where Ogdensburg now stands. 
Here they found a Sulpitian priest, AbW Piquet, 
busy at building a fort, and lodging for the present 
under a shed of bark like an Indian. This enterpris- 
ing father, ostensibly a missionary, was in reality a 
zealous political agent, bent on winning over the red 
allies of the English, retrieving French prestige, and 
restoring French trade. Thus far he had attracted 
but two Iroquois to his new establishment; and these 
he lent to C^loron. 

Reaching Lake Ontario, the party stopped for a 
time at the French fort of Frontenac, but avoided 
the rival English post of Oswego, on the southern 
shore, where a trade in beaver-skins, disastrous to 
French interests, was carried on, and whither many 
tribes, once faithful to Canada, now made resort. 
On the sixth of July C^loron reached Niagara. This, 
the most important pass of all the western wilderness, 
was guarded by a small fort of palisades on the point 
where the river joins the lake. Thence, the party 
carried their canoes over the portage road by the 
cataract, and launched them upon Lake Erie. On 
the fifteenth they landed on the lonely shore where 

42 CiLORON DE BIENVILLE. [1749-1752, 

tiie town of Portland now stands ; and for the next 
seven days were busied in shouldering canoes and 
baggage up and down the steep hills, through the 
dense forest of beech, oak, ash, and elm, to the 
waters of Chautauqua Lake, eight or nine miles dis- 
tant. Here they embarked again, steering southward 
over the sunny waters, in the stillness and solitude of 
the leafy hills, till they came to the outlet, and glided 
down the peaceful current in the shade of the tall 
forests that overarched it. This prosperity was short. 
The stream was low, in spite of heavy rains that 
had drenched them on the carrying place. Father 
Bonnecamp, chaplain of the expedition, wrote in his 
Journal: "In some places — and they were but too 
frequent — the water was only two or three inches 
deep; and we were reduced to the sad necessity of 
dragging our canoes over the sharp pebbles, which, 
with all our care and precaution, stripped off large 
slivers of the bark. At last, tired and worn, and 
almost in despair of ever seeing La Belle Riviere, we 
entered it at noon of the 29th." The part of the 
Ohio, or " La Belle Riviere, " which they had thus 
happily reached, is now called the Alleghany. The 
Great West lay outspread before them, a realm of 
wild and waste fertility. 

French America had two heads, — one among the 
snows of Canada, and one among the canebrakes of 
Louisiana ; one communicating with the world through 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the other through the 
Gulf of Mexico. These vital points were feebly 

J749-1752.] INDIANS OF THE WEST. 48 

connected by a chain of military posts, — slender, 
and often interrupted, — circling through the wilder- 
ness nearly three thousand miles. Midway between 
Canada and Louisiana lay the valley of the Ohio. 
If the English should seize it, they would sever the 
chain of posts, and cut French America asunder. If 
the French held it, and intrenched themselves well 
along its eastern limits, they would shut their rivals 
between the Alleghanies and the sea, control all the 
tribes of the West, and turn them, in case of war, 
against the English borders, — a frightful and insup- 
portable scourge. 

The Indian population of the Ohio and its northern 
tributaries was relatively considerable. The upper 
or eastern half of the valley was occupied by mingled 
hordes of Delawares, Shawanoes, Wjrandots, and 
Iroquois, or Indians of the Five Nations, who had 
migrated thither from their ancestral abodes within 
the present limits of the State of New York, and who 
were called Mingoes by the English traders. Along 
with them were a few wandering Abenakis, Nipissings, 
and Ottawas. Farther west, on the waters of the 
Miami, the Wabash, and other neighboring streams, 
was the seat of a confederacy formed of the various 
bands of the Miamis and their kindred or affiliated 
tribes. Still farther west, towards the Mississippi, 
were the remnants of the Illinois. 

France had done but little to make good her claims 
to this grand domain. East of the Miami she had 
no military post whatever. Westward, on the 

44 CfiLORON DE BIENVILLE. [1749-1752. 

Maumee, there was a small wooden fort, another on 
the St. Joseph, and two on the Wabash. On the 
meadows of the Mississippi, in the Illinois country, 
stood Fort Chartres, — a much stronger work, and 
one of the chief links of the chain that connected 
Quebec with New Orleans. Its four stone bastions 
were impregnable to musketry; and, here in the 
depths of the wilderness, there was no fear that 
cannon would be brought against it. It was the 
centre and citadel of a curious little forest settlement, 
the only vestige of civilization through all this 
region. At Kaskaskia, extended along the borders 
of the stream, were seventy or eighty French houses ; 
thirty or forty at Cahokia, opposite the site of St. 
Louis ; and a few more at the intervening hamlets of 
St. Philippe and Prairie ^ la Roche, — a picturesque 
but thriftless population, mixed with Indians, totally 
ignorant, busied partly with the fur-trade, and partly 
with the raising of corn for the market of New 
Orleans. They communicated with it by means of a 
sort of row galley, of eighteen or twenty oars, which 
made the voyage twice a year, and usually spent ten 
weeks on the return up the river. ^ 

The Pope and the Bourbons had claimed this wil- 
derness for seventy years, and had done scarcely 
more for it than the Indians, its natural owners. 

1 Gordon, Journal, 1760, appended to Pownall, Topographical 
Description, In the IMp6t des Cartes de la Marine at Paris, C. 
4,010, are two curious maps of the Illinois Colony, made a little 
after the middle of the century. In 1763 the Marquis Duquesne 
denounced the colonists as dehauched and lazj. 

1749-1752.] ENGLISH FUR-TRADERS. 46 

Of the western tribes, even of those living at the 
French poets, the Hurons or Wyandots alone were 
Christian.^ The devoted zeal of the early mission* 
aries and the politic efforts of their successors had 
failed alike. The savages of the Ohio and the 
Mississippi, instead of being tied to France by the 
mild bonds of the faith, were now in a state which 
the French called defection or revolt; that is, they 
received and welcomed the English traders. 

These traders came in part from Virginia, but 
chiefly from Pennsylvania. Dinwiddle, governor of 
Virginia, says of them: " They appear to me to be in 
general a set of abandoned wretches ; " and Hamilton, 
governor of Pennsylvania, replies: "I concur with 
you in opinion that they are a very licentious 
people."* Indian traders, of whatever nation, are 
rarely models of virtue; and these, without doubt, 
were rough and lawless men, with abundant black- 
guardism and few scruples. Not all of them, how- 
ever, are to be thus qualified. Some were of a better 
stamp; among whom were Christopher Gist, William 
Trent, and George Croghan. These and other chief 
traders hired men on the frontiers, crossed the AUe- 
ghanies with goods packed on the backs of horses, 
descended into the valley of the Ohio, and journeyed 

1 " De tontes les nations domicili^es dans les postes des pajs 
d'en hant, il n*y a que les hurons du d^troit qui aient embrasse 
1a B^ligion chretienne." — M€moire du Roy pour servir d*in$truction au 
S^ Marguis de Lajonquihre, 

' Dinwiddle to Hamilton, 21 May, 1753. Hamilton to Dinwiddie,'-^ 
May, 1763. 


from stream to stream and village to village along 
the Indian trails, with which aU this wUdemess was 
seamed, and which the traders widened to make them 
practicable. More rarely, they carried their goods 
on horses to the upper waters of the Ohio, and em- 
barked them in large wooden canoes, in which they 
descended the main river, and ascended such of its 
numerous tributaries as were navigable. They were 
bold and enterprising; and French writers, witi. ' 
alarm and indignation, declare that some of them had 
crossed the Mississippi and traded with the distant 
Osages. It is said that about three hundred of them 
came over the mountains every year. 

On reaching the Alleghany, C^loron de Bienville 
entered upon the work assigned him, and began by 
taking possession of the country. The men were 
drawn up in order; Louis XV. was proclaimed lord 
of all that region, the arms of France, stamped on a 
sheet of tin, were nailed to a tree, a plate of lead was 
buried at its foot, and the notary of the expedition 
drew up a formal act of the whole proceeding. The 
leaden plate was inscribed as follows: "Year 1749, 
in the reign of Louis Fifteenth, King of France. 
We, Cdloron, commanding the detachment sent by 
the Marquis de la Galissonidre, commander-general 
of New France, to restore tranquillity in certain 
villages of these cantons, have buried this plate at 
the confluence of the Ohio and the Kanaouagon 
[Conewango]^ this 29th July, as a token of renewal 
of possession heretofore taken of the aforesaid River 


Ohio, of all streams that fall into it, and all lands on 
both sides to the source of the aforesaid streams, as 
the preceding Kings of France have enjoyed or ought 
to have enjoyed it, and which tbey have upheld by 
force of arms and by treaties, notably by those of 
Ryswick, Utrecht, and Aix-la-Chapelle. " 

This done, the party proceeded on its way, mov- 
ing downward with the current, and passing from 
time to time rough openings in the forest, with 
clusters of Indian wigwams, the inmates of which 
showed a strong inclination to run off at their 
approach. To prevent this, Chabert de Joncaire was 
sent in advance, as a messenger of peace. He was 
himself half Indian, being the son of a French officer 
and a Seneca squaw, speaking fluently his maternal 
tongue, and, like his father, holding an important 
place in all dealings between the French and the 
tribes who spoke dialects of the Iroquois. On this 
occasion his success was not complete. It needed 
all his art to prevent the alarmed savages from tak- 
ing to the woods. Sometimes, however, C^loron 
succeeded in gaining an audience; and at a village 
of Senecas called La Paille Couple he read them a 
message from La Galissonidre couched in terms suffi- 
ciently imperative : " My children, since I was at war 
with the English, I have learned that they have 
seduced you; and not content with corrupting your 
hearts, have taken advantage of my absence to invade 
lands which are not theirs, but mine; and therefore 
I have resolved to send you Monsieur de C^loron to 


tell you my intentionfl, which are that I will not 
endure the English on my land. Listen to me, chil- 
dren; mark well the word that I send you; follow 
my advice, and the sky will always be calm and clear 
over your villages. I expect from you an answer 
worthy of true children." And he urged them to 
stop all trade with the intruders, and send them back 
to whence they came. They promised compliance; 
"and,"sa3rs the chaplain, Bonnecamp, "we should all 
have been satisfied if we had thought them sincere ; but 
nobody doubted that fear had extorted their answer." 
Four leagues below French Creek, by a rock 
scratched with Indian hieroglyphics, they buried 
another leaden plate. Three days after, they reached 
the Delaware village of Attiqud, at the site of 
Kittanning, whose twenty-two wigwams were all 
empty, the owners having fled. A little farther on, 
at an old abandoned village of Shawanoes, they found 
six English traders, whom they warned to begone, 
and return no more at their peril. Being helpless to 
resist, the traders pretended obedience; and C^loron 
charged them with a letter to the governor of Penn- 
sylvania, in which he declared that he was "greatly 
surprised" to find Englishmen trespassing on the 
domain of France. "I know," concluded the letter, 
" that our Commandant-General would be very sorry 
to be forced to use violence ; but his orders are pre- 
cise, to leave no foreign traders within the limits of 
his government."^ 

^ CAoron, Journal, Compare the letter as translated in N, Y 
Col. Docs., vi. 632 ; also Colonial Records of Pa., t. 426. 

1749.] LOGSTOWN. 49 

On the next day they reached a village of Iroquois 
under a female chief, called Queen Alequippa by 
the English, to whom she was devoted. Both queen 
and subjects had fled ; but among the deserted wig- 
wams were six more Englishmen, whom C^loron 
warned off like the others, and who, like them, pre- 
tended to obey. At a neighboring town they found 
only two withered ancients, male and female, whose 
xuiited ages, in the judgment of the chaplain, were 
full two centuries. They passed the site of the 
future Pittsburg; and some seventeen miles below 
approached Chiningu^, called Logstown by the Eng- 
lish, one of the chief places on the river. ^ Both 
English and French flags were flying over the town, 
and the inhabitants, lining the shore, greeted their 
visitors with a salute of musketry, — not wholly wel- 
come, as the guns were charged with ball. Cdloron 
threatened to fire on them if they did not cease. The 
French climbed the steep bank, and encamped on the 
plateau above, betwixt the forest and the village, 
which consisted of some fifty cabins and wigwams, 
grouped in picturesque squalor, and tenanted by a 
mixed population, chiefly of Delawares, Shawanoes, 
and Mingoes. Here, too, were gathered many fugi- 
tives from the deserted towns above. C^loron feared 
a night attack. The camp was encircled by a ring 
of sentries ; the officers walked the rounds till morn- 
ing ; a part of the men were kept under arms, and 

^ There was another Chiningu^, the Shenango of the English, on 
Ihe Alleghanj. 
VOL. 1. — 4 


the rest ordered to sleep in their clothes. Joncaire 
discovered through some women of his acquaintance 
that an attack was intended. Whatever the danger 
may have been, the precautions of the French averted 
it; and instead of a battle, there was a council. 
C^loron delivered to the assembled chiefs a message 
from the governor more conciliatory than the former: 
" Through the love I bear you, my children, I send 
you Monsieur de C^loron to open your eyes to the 
designs of the English against your lands. The 
establishments they mean to make, and of which you 
are certainly ignorant, tend to your complete ruin. 
They hide from you their plans, which are to settle 
here and drive you away, if I let them. As a good 
father who tenderly loves his children, and though 
far away from them bears them always in his heart, 
I must warn you of the danger that threatens you. 
The English intend to rob you of your country; and 
that they may succeed, they begin by corrupting 
your minds. As they mean to seize the Ohio, which 
belongs to me, I send to warn them to retire." 

The reply of the chiefs, though suflSciently humble, 
was not all that could be wished. They begged that 
the intruders might stay a little longer, since the 
goods they brought were necessary to them. It was, 
in fact, these goods, cheap, excellent, and abundant 
as they were, which formed the only true bond 
between the English and the western tribes. Logs- 
town was one of the chief resorts of the English 
traders ; and at this moment there were ten of them 

1749.] CISLORON buries PLATES. 51 

in the place. C^loron warned them off. "They 
agreed," says the chaplain, "to all that was demanded, 
well resolved, no doubt, to do the contrary as soon 
as our backs were turned." 

Having distributed gifts among the Indians, the 
French proceeded on their way, and at or near the 
mouth of Wheeling Creek buried another plate of 
lead. They repeated the same ceremony at the 
mouth of the Muskingum. Here, half a century 
later, when this region belonged to the United States, 
a party of boys, bathing in the river, saw the plate 
protruding from the bank where the freshets had laid 
it bare, knocked it down with a long stick, melted 
half of it into bullets, and gave what remained to a 
neighbor from Marietta, who, hearing of this myste- 
rious relic, inscribed in an unknown tongue, came to 
rescue it from their hands. ^ It is now in the 
cabinet of the American Antiquarian Society.^ On 
the eighteenth of August, C^loron buried yet an- 
other plate, at the mouth of the Great Kanawha. 
This, too, in the course of a century, was unearthed 
by the floods, and was found in 1846 by a boy at 
play, by the edge of the water. ^ The inscriptions 
on all these plates were much alike, with variations 
of date and place. 

1 O. H. MarahaU, in Magazine of American History, March, 1878. 

* For papers relating to it, see Trans. Amer, Antiq, Sac., ii. 

* For a facsimile of the inscription on this plate, see Olden 
rime, i. 288. C^loron calls the Kanawha, Chinodahiehetha. The 
inscriptions as £^yen in his Journal correspond with those on the 
plates discovered. 


The weather was by turns rainy and hot; and the 
men, tired and famished, were fast falling ilL On 
the twenty-second they approached Scioto, called by 
the French St. Yotoc, or Sinioto, a large Shawanoe 
town at the mouth of the river which bears the same 
name. Greatly doubting what welcome awaited 
them, they filled their powder-horns and prepared for 
the worst. Joncaire was sent forward to propitiate 
the inhabitants; but they shot bullets through the 
flag that he carried, and surrounded him, yelling and 
brandishing their knives. Some were for killing him 
at once; others for burning him alive. The inter- 
position of a friendly Iroquois saved him; and at 
length they let him go. Cfloron was very uneasy at 
the reception of his messenger. "I knew," he 
writes, "the weakness of my party, two-thirds of 
which were young men who had never left home 
before, and would all have run at the sight of ten 
Indians. Still, there was nothing for me but to keep 
on; for I was short of provisions, my canoes were 
badly damaged, and I had no pitch or bark to mend 
them. So I embarked again, ready for whatever 
might happen. I had good ofiBcers, and about fifty 
men who could be trusted." 

As they neared the town, the Indians swarmed to 
the shore, and began the usual salute of musketry. 
"They fired," says C^loron, " full a thousand shots; 
for the English give them powder for nothing." He 
prudently pitched his camp on the farther side of the 
river, posted guards, and kept close watch. Each 


party distrusted and feared the other. At length, 
after much ado, many debates, and some threatening 
movements on the part of the alarmed and excited 
Indians, a council took place at the tent of the 
French commander; the chiefs apologized for the 
rough treatment of Joncaire, and C^loron replied 
with a rebuke, which would doubtless have been 
less mild, had he felt himself stronger. X ^^ g^y^ 
them also a message from the governor, modified, 
apparently, to suit the circumstances; for while 
warning them of the wiles of the English, it gave 
no hint that the King of France claimed mastery of 
their lands. Their answer was vague and unsat- 
is&ctory. It was plain that they were bound to the 
enemy by interest, if not by sympathy. A party 
of English traders were living in the place; and 
C^loron summoned them to withdraw, on pain of 
what might ensue. "My instructions," he says, 
"enjoined me to do this, and even to pillage the 
English; but I was not strong enough; and as 
these traders were established in the village and 
well supported by the Indians, the attempt would 
have failed, and put the French to shame.'* The 
assembled chiefs having been regaled with a cup 
of brandy each, — the only part of the proceeding 
which seemed to please them, — C^loron re-embarked, 
and continued his voyage. 

On the thirtieth they reached the Great Miami, 
called by the French, Rivifere h. la Roche ; and here 
C^loron buried the last of his leaden plates. They 


now bade farewell to the Ohio, or, in the words of 
the chaplain, to " La Belle Rivifere, — that river so 
little known to the French, and unfortunately too 
well known to the English." He speaks of the multi- 
tude of Indian villages on its shores, and still more 
on its northern branches. ^'Each, great or small, 
has one or more English traders, and each of these 
has hired men to carry his furs. Behold, then, the 
English well advanced upon our lands, and, what is 
worse, under the protection of a crowd of savages 
whom they have drawn over to them, and whose 
number increases daily." 

The course of the party lay up the Miami; and 
they toiled thirteen days against the shallow current 
before they reached a village of the Miami Indians, 
lately built at the mouth of the rivulet now called 
Loramie Creek. Over it ruled a chief to whom the 
French had given the singular name of La Demoiselle, 
but whom the English, whose fast friend he was, 
called Old Britain. The English traders who lived 
here had prudently withdrawn, leaving only two 
hired men in the place. The object of C^loron was 
to induce the Demoiselle and his band to leave this 
new abode and return to their old villages near the 
French fort on the Maumee, where they would be 
safe from English seduction. To this end, he called 
them to a council, gave them ample gifts, and made 
them an harangue in the name of the governor. The 
Demoiselle took the gifts, thanked his French father 
for his good advice, and promised to follow it at a 

1740.] LA DEMOISELLE. 55 

more convenient time.^ In vain C^oron insisted 
that he and his tribesmen should remove at once. 
Neither blandishments nor threats would prevail, 
and the French commander felt that his negotiation 
had failed. 

He was not deceived. Far from leaving his 
village, the Demoiselle, who was Great Chief of the 
Miami Confederacy, gathered his followers to the 
spot, till, less than two years after the visit of 
C^loron, its population had increased eightfold. 
Pique Town, or Pickawillany, as the English called 
it, became one of the greatest Indian towns of the 
West, the centre of English trade and influence, 
and a capital object of French jealousy. 

C^loron burned his shattered canoes, and led his 
party across the long and difficult portage to the 
French post on the Maumee, where he found Ray- 
mond, the commander, and all his men, shivering 
with fever and ague. They suppUed him with 
wooden canoes for his voyage down the river; and, 
early in October, he reached Lake Erie, where he 
was detained for a time by a drunken debauch of his 
Indians, who are called by the chaplain ^^a species 
of men made to exercise the patience of those who 
have the misfortune to travel with them." In a 
month more he was at Fort Frontenac; and as he 
descended thence to Montreal, he stopped at the 

^ C^oron, Journal. Compare A Message from the Twightioees 
MimmiB) in Colonial Records of Pa., y. 437, where thej saj that 
they refused the gifts. 



Oswegatchie, in obedience to the governor, who had 
directed him to report the progress made by the 
Sulpitian, Abb^ Piquet, at his new mission. Piquet's 
new fort had been burned by Indians, prompted, as 
he thought, by the English of Oswego; but the 
priest, buoyant and undaunted, was still resolute for 
the glory of God and the confusion of the heretics. 

At length C^loron reached Montreal ; and, closing 
his Journal, wrote thus: "Father Bonnecamp, who 
is a Jesuit and a great mathematician, reckons that 
we have travelled twelve hundred leagues ; I and my 
officers think we have travelled more. All I can say 
is, that the nations of these countries are very ill- 
disposed towards the French, and devoted entirely to 
the English."^ If his expedition had done no more, 
it had at least revealed clearly the deplorable con- 
dition of French interests in the West. 

While C^loron was warning English traders from 
the Ohio, a plan was on foot in Virginia for a new 
invasion of the French domain. An association was 
formed to settle the Ohio country; and a grant of 
five hundred thousand acres was procured from the 
King, on condition that a hundred families should be 
established upon it within seven years, a fort built, 
and a garrison maintained. The Ohio Company 

1 Journal de la Campagne que moy C^loron, Chevalier de VOrdre 
Royal et Militaire de St. Louis, Capitaine Commandant un d€tache- 
ment envoys dans la Belle Riviere par les ordres de M, le Marquis de 
La Galissoniere, etc. 

Relation d'un voyage dans la BelU Rivihre sous les ordres de M. de 
C/loron, par le Pere Bonnecamp, en 1749. 

1750.] THE OHIO COMPANY. 67 

numbered among its members some of the chief men 
of Virginia, including two brothers of Washington; 
and it had also a London partner, one Hanbury, a 
person of influence, who acted as its agent in Eng- 
land. In the year after the expedition of C^loron, 
its governing committee sent the trader Christopher 
Gist to explore the country and select land. It 
must be "good level land," wrote the committee; 
**we had rather go quite down to the Mississippi 
than take mean, broken land."^ In November Gist 
reached Logstown, the Chiningu^ of C^loron, where 
he found what he calls a " parcel of reprobate Indian 
traders." Those whom he so stigmatizes were 
Pennsylvanians, chiefly Scotch-Irish, between whom 
and the traders from Virginia there was great 
jealousy. Gist was told that he "should never go 
home safe." He declared himself the bearer of a 
message from the King. This imposed respect, and 
he was allowed to proceed. At the Wyandot village 
of Muskingum he found the trader George Croghan, 
sent to the Indians by the governor of Pennsylvania, 
to renew the chain of friendship.^ "Croghan," he 
says, "is a mere idol among his countrymen, the 
Irish traders ; " yet they met amicably, and the Penn- 
sylvanian had with him a companion, Andrew 
Montour, the interpreter, who proved of great service 

1 InstmctionB to Gist, in appendix to Fownall, Topographical 
Description of North America. 

* Mr. Croghan*8 Transactions with the Indians, in N, Y. Col, Docs^ 
rii. 267 ; Croghan to Hamilton, 16 December, 1760. 


to Gist. As Montour was a conspicuous person in 
his time, and a type of his class, he merits a passing 
notice. He was the reputed grandson of a French 
governor and an Indian squaw. His half-breed 
mother, Catharine Montour, was a native of Canada, 
whence she was carried off by the Iroquois, and 
adopted by them. She lived in a village at the head 
of Seneca Lake, and still held the belief, inculcated 
by the guides of her youth, that Christ was a 
Frenchman crucified by the English.^ Her son 
Andrew is thus described by the Moravian Zinzendorf, 
who knew him : " His face is like that of a European, 
but marked with a broad Indian ring of bear's-grease 
and paint drawn completely round it. He wears a 
coat of fine cloth of cinnamon color, a black necktie 
with silver spangles, a red satin waistcoat, trousers 
over which hangs his shirt, shoes and stockings, a 
hat, and brass ornaments, something like the handle 
of a basket, suspended from his ears."^ He was an 
excellent interpreter, and held in high account by 
his Indian kinsmen. 

After leaving Muskingum, Gist, Croghan, and 
Montour went together to a village on White 
Woman's Creek, — so called from one Mary Harris, 

^ This is stated bj Count Zinzendorf, who visited her among the 
Senecas. Compare " Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV.," 
806, In a plan of the " Route of the Western Army," made in 
1779, and of which a tracing is before me, the village where she 
Uved is still called " French Catharine's Town." 

" Journal of Zinzendorf, quoted in Schweinitz, Life of David 
Zeisberger, 112, note. 

1750, 1751.] PICKAWILLANY. 69 

who lived here. She was bom in New England, 
was made prisoner when a child forty years before, 
and had since dwelt among her captors, finding sueli 
comfort as she might in an Indian husband and a 
family of young half-breeds. "She still remembers," 
s&js Gist, "that they used to be very religious in 
New England, and wonders how white men can be 
so wicked as she has seen them in these woods." He 
and his companions now journeyed southwestward to 
the Shawanoe town at the mouth of the Scioto, where 
they found a reception very different from that which 
had awaited C^loron. Thence they rode northwest- 
ward along the forest path that led to Pickawillany, 
the Indian town on the upper waters of the Great 
Miami. Gist was delighted with the country, and 
reported to his employers that " it is fine, rich, level 
land, well timbered with large walnut, ash, sugar 
trees and cheny trees; well watered with a great 
number of little streams and rivulets ; full of beauti- 
ful natural meadows, with wild rye, blue-grass, and 
clover, and abounding with turkeys, deer, elks, and 
most sorts of game, particularly buffaloes, thirty or 
forty of which are frequently seen in one meadow." 
A little farther west, on the plains of the Wabash 
and the Illinois, he would have found them by 

They crossed the Miami on a raft, their horses 
swimming after them ; and were met on landing by 
a crowd of warriors, who, after smoking with them, 
escorted them to the neighboring town, where they 


were greeted by a fusillade of welcome. "We en- 
tered with English colors before us, and were kindly 
received by their king, who invited us into his own 
house and set our colors upon the top of it; then all 
the white men and traders that were there came and 
welcomed us." This "king" was Old Britain, or La 
Demoiselle. Great were tlie changes here since 
C^loron, a year and a half before, had vainly enticed 
him to change his abode, and dwell in the shadow of 
the fleur-de-lis. The town had grown to four hun- 
dred families, or about two thousand souls ; and the 
English traders had built for themselves and their 
hosts a fort of pickets, strengthened with logs. 

There was a series of councils in the long house, 
or town-hall. Croghan made the Indians a present 
from the governor of Pennsylvania; and he and 
Gist delivered speeches of friendship and good advice, 
which the auditors received with the usual monosyl- 
labic plaudits, ejected from the depths of their 
throats. A treaty of peace was solemnly made 
between the English and the confederate tribes, and 
all was serenity and joy; till four Ottawas, probably 
from Detroit, arrived with a French flag, a gift of 
brandy and tobacco* and a message from the French 
commandant inviting the Miamis to visit him. 
Whereupon the great war-chief rose, and, with "a 
fierce tone and very warlike air," said to the envoys: 
"Brothers the Ottawas, we let you know, by these 
four strings of wampum, that we will not hear any- 
thing the French say, nor do anything they bid us." 


Then addressing the French as if actually present: 
•* Fathers, we have made a road to the sun-rising, and 
have been taken by the hand by our brothers the 
English, the Six Nations, the Delawares, Shawanoes, 
and Wyandots.^ We assure you, in that road we 
will go; and as you threaten us with war in the 
spring, we tell you that we are ready to receive you." 
Then, turning again to the four envoys: "Brothers 
the Ottawas, you hear what I say. Tell that to your 
fathers the French, for we speak it from our hearts." 
The chiefs then took down the French flag which 
the Ottawas had planted in the town, and dismissed 
the envoys with their answer of defiance. 

On the next day the town-crier came with a mes- 
sage from the Demoiselle, inviting his English guests 
to a "feather dance," which Gist thus describes: "It 
was performed by three dancing-masters, who were 
painted all over of various colors, with long sticks in 
their hands, upon the ends of which were fastened 
long feathers of swans and other birds, neatly woven 
in the shape of a fowl's wing ; in this disguise they 
performed many antic tricks, waving their sticks and 
feathers about with great skill, to imitate the flying 
and fluttering of birds, keeping exact time with their 
music." This music was the measured thumping of 
an Indian drum. From time to time a warrior would 
leap up, and the drum and the dancers would cease 

1 Compare Message of Miamis and Hurons to the Governor oj 
Pennsylvania in N. Y. Col. Docs., vi. 594 ; and Report of Croghan in 
Colonial Records of Pa., y. 522, 523. 


as he struck a post with his tomahawk, and in a loud 
voice recounted his exploits. Then the music and 
the dance began anew, till another warrior caught 
the martial fire, and bounded into the circle to bran- 
dish his tomahawk and vaunt his prowess. 

On the first of March Gist took leave of Pickawil- 
lany, and returned towards the Ohio. He would 
have gone to the Falls, where Louisville now stands, 
but for a band of French Indians reported to be 
there, who would probably have killed him. After 
visiting a deposit of mammoth bones on the south 
shore, long the wonder of the traders, he turned 
eastward, crossed with toil and diflSculty the moim- 
tains about the sources of the Kanawha, and after an 
absence of seven months reached his frontier home 
on the Yadkin, whence he proceeded to Roanoke 
with the report of his journey.^ 

All looked well for the English in the West; but 
under this fair outside lurked hidden danger. The 
Miamis were hearty in the English cause, and so 
perhaps were the Shawanoes ; but the Delawares had 
not forgotten the wrongs that drove them from their 
old abodes east of the AUeghanies, while the Mingoes, 
or emigrant Iroquois, like their brethren of New 
York, felt the influence of Joncaire and other French 
agents, who spared no efforts to seduce them.^ Still 

1 Journal of Christopher Gist, in appendix to Fownall, Topographi- 
cal Description. Mr. Croghan*s Transactions with the Indians in 
N. r. Col. Docs., yii. 267. 

^ Joncaire made anti-Engliah speeches to the Ohio Indians 

1750-1762.] ENGLISH APATHY. 68 

more baneful to British interests were the apathy and 
dissensions of the British colonies themselves. The 
Ohio Company had built a trading-house at Will*s 
Creek, a branch of the Potomac, to which the Indians 
resorted in great numbers; whereupon the jealous 
traders of Pennsylvania told them that the Virginians 
meant to steal away their lands. This confirmed 
what they had been taught by the French emissaries, 
whose intrigues it powerfully aided. The governors 
of New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia saw the 
importance of Indian alliances, and felt their own 
responsibility in regard to them ; but they could do 
nothing without their assemblies. Those of New 
York and Pennsylvania were largely composed of 
tradesmen and farmers, absorbed in local interests, 
and possessed by two motives, — the saving of the 
people's money, and opposition to the governor, who 
stood for the royal prerogative. It was Hamilton, 
of Pennsylvania, who had sent Croghan to the 
Miamis to "renew the chain of friendship;" and 
when the envoy returned, the Assembly rejected his 
report "I was condemned," he says, "for bringing 
expense on the Government, and the Indians were 
neglected." ^ In the same year Hamilton again sent 
him over the mountains, with a present for the 
Mingoes and Delawares. Croghan succeeded in 

under the eyes of the English themselyes, who did not molest him. 
Journal of George Croghan, 1761, in Olden Time, i. 136. 

^ Mr. Croghan's Tramactiom with the Indians, N. Y, Col, Docs,, 

64 C^LORON DE BIENVILLE. [175(^1752. 

persuading them that it would be for their good if 
the English should build a fortified trading-house at 
the fork of the Ohio, where Pittsburg now stands; 
and they made a formal request to the governor that 
it should be built accordingly. But, in the words of 
Croghan, the Assembly "rejected the proposal, and 
condemned me for making such a report." Yet this 
post on the Ohio was vital to English interests. 
Even the Penns, proprietaries of the province, never 
lavish of their money, offered four hundred pounds 
towards the cost of it, besides a hundred a year 
towards its maintenance; but the Assembly would 
not listen.^ The Indians were so well convinced 
that a strong English trading-station in their country 
would add to their safety and comfort, that when 
Pennsylvania refused it, they repeated the proposal 
to Virginia; but here, too, it found for the present 
little favor. 

The question of disputed boundaries had much to 
do with this most impolitic inaction. A large part 
of the valley of the Ohio, including the site of the 
proposed establishment, was claimed by both Penn- 
sylvania and Virginia ; and each feared that whatever 
money it might spend there would turn to the profit 

1 Colonial Records of Pa., v. 616, 529, 647. At a council at Logs- 
town (1751), the Indians said to Croghan: "The French want to 
cheat us out of our country ; but we will stop them, and. Brothers 
the English, jou must help us. We expect that you will build a 
strong house on the River Ohio, that in case of war we may have a 
place to secure our wives and children, likewise our brothers that 
come to trade with us." — Report of Treaty at Logstown,lbid., v. 638, 

1750-1752.] ENGLISH APATHY. 65 

of the other. This was not the only evil that sprang 
from uncertain ownership. "Till the line is run 
between the two provinces," says Dinwiddle, gov- 
ernor of Virginia, "I cannot appoint magistrates to 
keep the traders in good order. "^ Hence they did 
what they pleased, and often gave umbrage to the 
Indians. Clinton, of New York, appealed to his 
Assembly for means to assist Pennsylvania in " secur- 
ing the fidelity of the Indians on the Ohio," and the 
Assembly refused.^ "We will take care of our 
Indians, and they may take care of theirs : " such was 
the spirit of their answer. He wrote to the various 
provinces, inviting them to send commissioners to 
meet the tribes at Albany, "in order to defeat the 
designs and intrigues of the French." All turned 
a deaf ear except Massachusetts, Connecticut, and 
South Carolina, who sent the commissioners, but 
supplied them very meagrely with the indispensable 
presents.' Clinton says further: "The Assembly of 
this province have not given one farthing for Indian 
affairs, nor for a year past have they provided for 
the subsistence of the garrison at Oswego, which 
is the key for the commerce between the colonies 
and the inland nations of Indians."^ 

In the heterogeneous structure of the British 

1 Dinwiddle to the Lards of Trade, 6 October, 1752. 

« Journals of New York Assembly, ii. 283,: 284. Colonial Records 
of Pa., y. 466. 

• Clinton to Hamilton, 18 December, 1750. Clinton to Lords of 
Trade, 13 June, 1751 ; Ibid., 17 July, 175L 

« Clinton to Bedford, 30 July, 1750. 
TOL. I. — 5 

66 CfiLORON DE BIENVILLE. [1750-1752. 

colonies, their clashing interests, their internal dis- 
putes, and the misplaced economy of penny-wise and 
shortnsighted assembly-men, lay the hope of France. 
The rulers of Canada knew the vast numerical pre- 
ponderance of their rivals; but with their centralized 
organization they felt themselves more than a match 
for any one English colony alone. They hoped to 
wage war under the guise of peace, and to deal with 
the enemy in detail; and they at length perceived 
that the fork of the Ohio, so strangely neglected by 
the English, formed, together with Niagara, the key 
of the Great West. Could France hold firmly these 
two controlling passes, she might almost boast herself 
mistress of the continent. 

NoTB. — The Journal of C^oron ( Archives de la Marine) is very 
long and circumstantial, including the proces verbaux, and reports 
of councils with Indians. The Journal of the chaplain, Bonne- 
camp '{IMpdt de la Marine), is shorter, but is the work of an intelli- 
gent and obserring man. The author, a Jesuit, was skilled in 
mathematics, made daily observations, and constructed a map of 
the route, still preserved at the IMpdt de la Marine. Concurrently 
with these French narratives, one may consult the English letters 
and documents bearing on the same subjects, in the Colonial 
Records of Pennsylvania, the Archives of Pennsylvania, and the 
Colonial Documents of New York. 

Three of C^oron's leaden plates have been found, — the two 
mentioned in the text, and another which was never buried, and 
which the Indians, who regarded these mysterious tablets as " bad 
medicine," procured by a trick from Joncaire, or, according to 
Governor Clinton, stole from him. A Cayuga chief brought it to 
Colonel Johnson on the Mohawk, who interpreted the " Devilish 
writing " in such a manner aa best to inspire horror of French 




Thx Fits Nations. — Cauohitawaoa. — Asst Piquet : ma 


Niagara. — Osweoo.— Success of Piquet. — Detroit. — La 
JoHQUi^RE : his Iktrioues ; HIS Trials ; his Death. — 
English Intrigues. — Critical State of the West. — Pick- 


The Iroquois, or Five Nations, sometimes called 
Six Nations after the Tuscaroras joined them, had 
been a power of high importance in American inter- 
national politics. In a certain sense they may be 
said to have held the balance between their French 
and English neighbors; but their relative influence 
had of late declined. So many of them had emi- 
grated and joined the tribes of the Ohio, that the 
centre of Indian population had passed to that region. 
Nevertheless, the Five Nations were still strong 
enough in their ancient abodes to make their alliance 
an object of the utmost consequence to both the 
European rivals. At the western end of their '^ Long 
House," or belt of confederated villages, Joncaire 
intrigued to gain them for France ; while in the east 
he was counteracted by the young colonel of militia. 

68 CONFLICT FOR THE WEST. [1749-1753. 

William Johnson, who lived on the Mohawk, and 
was already well skilled in managing Indians. 
Johnson sometimes lost his temper; and once wrote 
to Governor Clinton to complain of the " confounded 
wicked things the French had infused into the Indians' 
heads ; among the rest that the English were deter- 
mined, the first opportunity, to destroy them all. I 
assure your Excellency I had hard work to beat these 
and several other cursed villanous things, told them 
by the French, out of their heads." ^ 

In former times the French had hoped to win over 
the Five Nations in a body, by wholesale conversion 
to the Faith ; but the attempt had failed. They had, 
however, made within their own limits an asylum for 
such converts as they could gain, whom they collected 
together at Caughnawaga, near Montreal, to the 
number of about three hundred warriors.^ These 
could not be trusted to fight their kinsmen, but 
willingly made forays against the English borders. 
Caughnawaga, like various other Canadian missions, 
was divided between the Church, the army, and the 
fur-trade. It had a chapel, fortifications, and store- 
houses; two Jesuits, an officer, and three chief 
traders. Of these last, two were maiden ladies, the 
Demoiselles Desauniers ; and one of the Jesuits, their 
friend Father Toumois, was their partner in busi- 
ness. They carried on by means of the Mission 

1 Johnson to Clinton, 28 April, 1740. 

' The estimate of a French official report, 1736, and of Sir 
William Johnson, 1763. 

174»-176a.] PIQUET. 69 

Indians, and in collusion with iniSuential persons in 
the colony, a trade with the Dutch at Albany, illegal, 
but veiy profitable.^ 

Besides this Iroquois mission, which was chiefly 
composed of Mohawks and Oneidas, another was 
now begun farther westward, to win over the Onon- 
dagas, Cayugas, and Senecas. This was the estab- 
lishment of Father Piquet, which C^loron had visited 
in its infancy when on his way to the Ohio, and 
again on his return. Piquet was a man in the prime 
of life, of an alert, vivacious countenance, by no 
means unprepossessing;^ an enthusiastic schemer, 
with great executive talents ; ardent, energetic, vain, 
self-confident, and boastful. The enterprise seems 
to have been of his own devising ; but it found warm 
approval from the government.^ La Presentation, 
as he called the new mission, stood on the bank of 
the river Oswegatchie where it enters the St. 
Lawrence. Here the rapids ceased, and navigation 
was free to Lake Ontario. The place commanded 
the main river, and could bar the way to hostile war- 
parties or contraband traders. Rich meadows, forests, 
and abundance of fish and game, made it attractive 

* La Jonquiere au Mtntstre, 27 F^vrier, 1760. Ibid., 29 Octobre, 
1761. Ordres du Roy tt D€piches des MinistreSf 1761. Notice bio- 
yrapkique de La Jonquihre, La Jonquiere, governor of Canada, at 
last broke up their contraband trade, and ordered Toumois to 

* I once taw a contemporary portrait of him at the mission of 
Two Mountains, where he had been stationed. 

* RouilU a La Jonquih'e, 1749. I1ie intendant Bigot gave him 
money and proTisions. N. Y. Col. Docs., z. 204. 

70 CONFLICT FOR THE WEST. [1740-1768. 

to Indians, and the Oswegatchie gave access to the 
Iroquois towns. Piquet had chosen his site with 
great skill. His activity was admirable. His first 
stockade was burned by Indian incendiaries; but it 
rose quickly from its ashes, and within a year or two 
the mission of La Presentation had a fort of palisades 
flanked with blockhouses, a chapel, a storehouse, a 
bam, a stable, ovens, a saw-mill, broad fields of com 
and beans, and three villages of Iroquois, containing, 
in all, forty-nine bark lodges, each holding three or 
four families, more or less converted to the Faith; 
and, as time went on, this number increased. The 
governor had sent a squad of soldiers to man the 
fort, and five small cannon to mount upon it. The 
place was as safe for the new proselytes as it was 
convenient and agreeable. The Pennsylvanian inter- 
preter, Conrad Weiser, was told at Onondaga, the 
Iroquois capital, that Piquet had made a himdred 
converts from that place alone; and that, ^^ having 
clothed them all in veiy fine clothes, laced with 
silver and gold, he took them down and presented 
them to the French governor at Montreal, who re- 
ceived them veiy kindly, and made them large 
presents." ^ 

Such were some of the temporal attractions of La 
Pr^entation. The nature of the spiritual instruc- 
tion bestowed by Piquet and his fellow-priests may 
be partly inferred from the words of a proselyte 
warrior, who declared with enthusiasm that he had 

^ J<ntmal of Conrad Weiser, 1750. 

1740^1753.] BOASTS OF PIQUET. 71 

learned from the Sulpitian missionaiy that the King 
of France was the eldest son of the wife of Jesus 
Christ.^ This he of course took in a literal sense, 
the mystic idea of the Church as the spouse of Christ 
being beyond his savage comprehension. The effect 
was to stimulate his devotion to the Great Onontio 
beyond the sea, and to the lesser Onontio who repre- 
sented him as governor of Canada. 

Piquet was elated by his success; and early in 
1752 he wrote to the governor and intendant: "It is 
a great miracle that, in spite of envy, contradiction, 
and opposition from nearly all the Indian villages, I 
have formed in less than three years one of the most 
flourishing missions in Canada. I find m3n9elf in a 
position to extend the empire of my good masters, 
Jesus Christ and the King, even to the extremities 
of this new world; and, with some little help from 
you, to do more than France and England have been 

able to do with millions of money and all their 
troops. "2 

The letter from which this is taken was written to 
urge upon the government a scheme in which the 
zealous priest could see nothing impracticable. He 
proposed to raise a war-party of thirty-eight hundred 

^ Lalande, Notice de PAhh€ Piquet, in Lettres ^difiantes. See 
also TzMi in JUvue Canadienne, 1870, p. 0. 

* Piquet d La Jonquikre et Bigot^ 8 Ffvrier, 1752. See Appendix 
A. In spite of Piquet's self-laudation, and in spite also of the 
detraction of the author of the M€moires sur le Canada, 1749-1760, 
there can be no doubt of his practical capacity and his fertility of 
resource. Duquesne, when governor of the colony, highly praises 
" ses talents tt son actiyittf pour le service de Sa Majesttf." 


Indians, eighteen hundred of whom were to be drawn 
from the Canadian missions, the Five Nations, and 
the tribes of the Ohio, while the remaining two 
thousand were to be furnished by the Flatheads, or 
Choctaws, who were at the same time to be supplied 
with missionaries. The united force was first to 
drive the English from the Ohio, and next attack 
the Dog Tribe, or Cherokees, who lived near the 
borders of Virginia, with the people of which they 
were on friendly terms. "If," says Piquet, "the 
English of Virginia give any help to this last-named 
tribe, — which will not fail to happen, — they [the 
war-party] will do their utmost against them, through 
a grudge they bear them by reason of some old 
quarrels." In other words, the missionary hopes to 
set a host of savages to butchering English settlers 
in time of peace !^ His wild project never took 
efifect, though the governor, he says, at first approved 

In the preceding year the " Apostle of the Iroquois, " 
as he was called, made a journey to muster recruits 
for his mission, and kept a copious diary on the way. 
By accompanying him, one gets a clear view of an 
important part of the region in dispute between the 
rival nations. Six Canadians paddled him up the 
St. Lawrence, and five Indian converts followed in 
another canoe. Emerging from among the Thousand 
Islands, they stopped at Fort Frontenac, where 
Kingston now stands. Once the place was a great 

^ Appendix A. 


resort of Indians; now none were here, for the Eng- 
lish post of Oswego, on the other side of the lake, 
had greater attractions. Piquet and his oompany 
fonnd the pork and bacon yeiy bad, and he com- 
plains that ^ there was not brandy enough in the fort 
to wash a wound." They crossed to a neighboring 
island, where they were soon yisited by the chaplain 
of the fort, the storekeeper, his wife, and three 
young ladies, glad of an excursion to relieve the 
monotony of the garrison. "My hunters," says 
Piquet, "had supplied me with means of giving 
them a pretty good entertainment. We drank, with 
all our hearts, the health of the authorities, temporal 
and ecclesiastical, to the sound of our musketry, 
which was veiy well fired, and delighted the islanders." 
These islanders were a band of Indians who lived 
here. Piquet gave them a feast, then discoursed of 
religion, and at last persuaded them to remove to 
the new mission. 

During eight days he and his party coasted the 
northern shore of Lake Ontario, with various inci- 
dents, such as an encounter between his dog Cerberus 
and a wolf, to the disadvantage of the latter, and the 
meeting with "a veiy fine negro of twenty-two years, 
a fugitive from Virginia." On the twenty-sixth of 
June they reached the new fort of Toronto, which 
offered a striking contrast to their last stopping- 
place. "The wine here is of the best; there is noth- 
ing wanting in this fort; everything is abundant, 
fine, and good." There was reason for this. The 


nortihem Indians were flocking with their beaver^ 
skins to the English of Oswego; and in April, 1749, 
an oflBcer named Portneuf had been sent with soldiers 
and workmen to build a stockaded trading-house at 
Toronto, in order to intercept them, — not by force, 
which would have been ruinous to French interests, 
but by a tempting supply of goods and brandy.^ 
Thus the fort was kept well stocked, and with excel- 
lent effect. Piquet found here a band of Mississagas, 
who would otherwise, no doubt, have carried their 
furs to the English. He was strongly impelled to 
persuade them to migrate to La Presentation; but 
the governor had told him to confine his efforts to 
other tribes ; and lest, he says, the ardor of his zeal 
should betray him to disobedience, he re-embarked, 
and encamped six leagues from temptation. 

Two days more brought him to Niagara, where he 
was warmly received by the commandant, the chap- 
lain, and the storekeeper, — the triumvirate who 
ruled these forest outposts, and stood respectively for 
their three vital principles, war, religion, and trade. 
Here Piquet said mass ; and after resting a day, set 
out for the trading-house at the portage of the cata- 
ract, recently built, like Toronto, to stop the Indians 
on their way to Oswego.' Here he found Joncaire, 
and here also was encamped a large band of Senecas ; 

^ On Toronto, La Jonquikre et Bigot au Ministry, 1740. Za Jen* 
quih-e au Minittre, 80 Ao&t, 1750. N. Y, Col, Docs., x. 201, 246. 

* La Jonquiere au Ministre, 23 F€vr\er, 1750. Ihid,, 6 Octobre, 1751- 
Compare Colonial Records of Pa., v. 508. 


tiiough, being all drunk, men, women, and children, 
ihey were in no condition to receive the Faith, or 
appreciate the temporal advantages that attended it. 
On the next morning, finding them partially sober, 
be invited them to remove to La Pr&entation; "but 
as they had still something left in their bottles, I 
could get no answer till the following day." "I 
pass in silence," pursues the missionary, "an infinity 
of talks on this occasion. Monsieur de Joncaire for- 
got nothing that could help me, and behaved like a 
great servant of God and the King. My recruits 
increased every moment. I went to say my breviaiy 
while my Indians and the Senecas, without loss of 
time, assembled to hold a council with Monsieur de 
Joncaire." The result of the council was an entreaty 
to the missionary not to stop at Oswego, lest evil 
should befall him at the hands of the English. He 
promised to do as they wished, and presently set out 
on his return to Fort Niagara, attended by Joncaire 
and a troop of his new followers. The journey was 
a triumphal progress. " Whenever we passed a camp 
or a wigwam, the Indians saluted me by firing their 
guns, which happened so often that I thought all the 
trees along the way were charged with gunpowder; 
and when we reached the fort, Monsieur de Becan- 
cour received us with great ceremony and the firing 
of cannon, by which my savages were infinitely 

His neophytes were gathered into the chapel for 
the first time in their lives, and there rewarded with 


a few presents. He now prepared to turn homeward, 
his flock at the mission being left in his absence 
without a shepherd; and on the sixth of July he 
embarked, followed by a swarm of canoes. On the 
twelfth they stopped at the Genesee, and went to 
visit the Falls, where the city of Rochester now 
stands. On the way, the Indians found a populous 
resort of rattlesnakes, and attacked the gregarious 
reptiles with great animation, to the alarm of the 
missionary, who trembled for his bare-legged retainers. 
His fears proved needless. Forty-two dead snakes, 
as he avers, requited the efforts of the sportsmen, 
and not one of them was bitten. When he returned 
to camp in the afternoon he found there a canoe 
loaded with kegs of brandy. "The English," he 
says, "had sent it to meet us, well knowing that this 
was the best way to cause disorder among my new 
recruits and make them desert me. The Indian in 
charge of the canoe, who had the look of a great 
rascal, offered some to me first, and then to my 
Canadians and Indians. I gave out that it was very 
probably poisoned, and immediately embarked again." 
He encamped on the fourteenth at Sodus Bay, and 
strongly advises Ihe planting of a French fort there. 
"Nevertheless," he adds, "it would be still better to 
destroy Oswego, and on no account let the English 
build it again." On the sixteenth he came in sight 
of this dreaded post. Several times on the way he 
had met fleets of canoes going thither or returning, 
in spite of the rival attractions of Toronto and 

1751.] PIQUET AT OSWEGO. 77 

Niagara. No English establishment on the conti- 
nent was of such ill omen to the French. It not only 
robbed them of the fur-trade, by which they lived, 
bat threatened them with military and political, no 
less than commercial, ruin. They were in constant 
dread lest ships of war should be built here, strong 
enough to command Lake Ontario, thus separating 
Canada from Louisiana, and cutting New France 
asunder. To meet this danger, they soon after built 
at Fort Frontenac a large three-masted vessel, 
mounted with heavy cannon; thus, as usual, fore- 
stalling their rivals by promptness of action.^ The 
ground on which Oswego stood was claimed by the 
Province of New York, which alone had control of it; 
but through the purblind apathy of the Assembly, 
and their incessant quarrels with the governor, it 
was commonly left to take care of itself. For some 
time they would vote no money to pay the feeble 
little garrison; and Clinton, who saw the necessity 
of maintaining it, was forced to do so on his own 
personal credit.* "Why can't your governor and 
your great men [the Assembli/] agree?" asked a 
Mohawk chief of the interpreter, Conrad Weiser.^ 
Piquet kept his promise not to land at the English 
fort; but he approached in his canoe, and closely 
observed it. The shores, now covered by the city of 
Oswego, were then a desolation of bare hills and 

1 Lieutenant Lindesay to Johnson, Jtdy, 1751. 

* Clinton to Lords of Trade, 30 Jultf, 1760. 

• Journal of Conrad Weiser, 1750. 


fields, studded with the stumps of felled trees, and 
hedged about with a grim border of forests. Near 
the strand, by the mouth of the Onondaga, were the 
houses of some of the traders; and on the higher 
ground behind them stood a huge blockhouse with 
a projecting upper stoiy. This building was sur- 
rounded by a rough wall of stone, with flankers 
at the angles, forming what was called the fort.^ 
Piquet reconnoitred it from his canoe with the eye 
of a soldier. "It is commanded," he sa3n3, "on 
almost every side; two batteries, of three twelve- 
pounders each, would be more than enough to reduce 
it to ashes." And he enlarges on the evils that arise 
from it. " It not only spoils our trade, but puts the 
English into communication with a vast number of 
our Indians, far and near. It is true that they like 
our brandy better than English rum ; but they prefer 
English goods to ours, and can buy for two beaver- 
skins at Odwego a better silver bracelet than we sell 
at Niagara for ten." 

The burden of these reflections was lightened 
when he approached Fort Frontenac. "Never was 
reception more solemn. The Nipissings and Algon- 
quins, who were going on a war-party with Monsieur 
Bel6tre, formed a line of their own accord, and 
saluted us with three volleys of musketry, and cries 
of joy without end. All our little bark vessels 
replied in the same way. Monsieur de VerchSres 
and Monsieur de Valtry ordered the cannon of the 

1 Compare Doc, Hist, N. Y., L 463. 


fort to be fired; and my Indians, transported with 
joy at the honor done them, shot off their guns inces- 
santly, with cries and acclamations that delighted 
everybody/' A goodly band of recruits joined him, 
and he pursued his voyage to La Pr&entation, while 
the canoes of his proselytes followed in a swarm to 
their new home; ^^that establishment" — thus in a 
burst of enthusiasm he closes his Journal — ^^that 
establishment which I began two years ago, in the 
midst of opposition; that establishment which may 
be regarded as a key of the colony; that establish- 
ment which officers, interpreters, and traders thought 


a chimera, —that establishment, I say, forms already 
a mission of Iroquois savages whom I assembled at 
first to the number of only six, increased last year to 
eighty-seven, and this year to three hundred and 
ninety-six, without counting more than a hundred 
and fifty whom Monsieur Chabert de Joncaire is to 
bring me this autumn. And I certify that thus far 
I have received from His Majesty — for all favor, 
grace, and assistance — no more than a half pound 
of bacon and two pounds of bread for daily rations; 
and that he has not yet given a pin to the chapel, 
which I have maintained out of my own pocket, for 
the greater glory of my masters, God and the 

1 Journal qui peut servir de Mimoire et de Relation du Voyage que 
fay fait twr It Lac Ontario pour attirer au nouvel ^tablissement de La 
Pr€$entution let Sauvages Iroquois des Cinq Nations, 1761. The last 
puMige giyen above is condensed in the rendering, as the original 
!• extremely inrolTed and ungrammatical. 


In his late journey he had made the entire circuit 
of Lake Ontario. Beyond lay four other inland 
oceans, to which Fort Niagara was the key. As that 
all-essential post controlled the passage from Ontario 
to Erie, so did Fort Detroit control that from Erie to 
Huron, and Fort Michilimackinac that from Huron 
to Michigan ; while Fort Ste. Marie, at the outlet of 
Lake Superior, had lately received a garrison, and 
changed from a mission and trading-station to a post 
of war.^ This immense extent of inland navigation 
was safe in the hands of France so long as she held 
Niagara. Niagara lost, not only the lakes, but also 
the Valley of the Ohio was lost with it. Next in 
importance was Detroit. This was not a military 
post alone, but also a settlement; and, except the 
hamlets about Fort Chartres, the only settlement 
that France owned in all the West. There were, it 
is true, but a few families ; yet the hope of growth 
seemed good ; for to such as liked a wilderness hom^, 
no spot in America had more attraction. Father 
Bonnecamp stopped here for a day on his way back 
from the expedition of Celoron. "The situation," 
he says, "is charming. A fine river flows at the foot 
of the fortifications; vast meadows, asking only to 
be tilled, extend beyond the sight. Nothing can be 
more agreeable than the climate. Winter lasts hardly 
two months. European grains and fruits grow here 
far better than in many parts of France. It is the 
Touraine and Beauce of Canada."* The white flag 

^ La Jonquihre au Ministre, 24 AoAt, 1750. 
• Relation du Voiage de la BtlU Riviere, 1749. 

J750, 1761.1 DETROIT. 81 

of the Bourbons floated over the compact little pali- 
saded town, with its population of soldiers and fur- 
traders; and from the blockhouses which served as 
bastions, one saw on either hand the small solid 
dwellings of the habitants^ ranged at intervals along 
the margin of the water; while at a little distance 
three Indian villages — Ottawa, Pottawattamie, and 
Wyandot — curled their wigwam smoke into the pure 
summer air.^ 

When C^loron de Bienville returned from the 
Ohio, he went, with a royal commission, sent him a 
year before, to command at Detroit.^ His late chap- 
lain, the very intelligent Father Bonnecamp, speaks 
of him as fearless, energetic, and full of resource; 
but the governor calls him haughty and insubordinate. 
Great efforts were made, at the same time, to build 
up Detroit as a centre of French power in the West. 
The methods employed were of the debilitating, 
paternal character long familiar to Canada. All 
emigrants with families were to be carried thither at 
the King's expense ; and every settler was to receive 
in free gift a gun, a hoe, an axe, a ploughshare, a 
scythe, a sickle, two augers, large and small, a sow, 
six hens, a cock, six pounds of powder, and twelve 
pounds of lead; while to these favors were added 
many others. The result was that twelve families 

^ A plan of Detroit is before me, made about this time hy the 
engineer Lery. 

* Le Ministrt h La Jonouih'e et Bigot, 14 Mai, 1749. Le Ministry h 
C^hrom, 28 Mai, 1740. 

VOL. I. — 6 

82 CONFLICT FOR THE WEST. [1760, 1761. 

were persuaded to go, or about a twentieth part of 
the number wanted.^ Detroit was expected to fur- 
nish supplies to the other posts for five hundred 
miles around, control the neighboring Indians, 
thwart English machinations, and drive off English 

La Galissonidre no longer governed Canada. He 
had been honorably recalled, and the Marquis de la 
Jonquidre sent in his stead. ^ La Jonquifere, like his 
predecessor, was a naval o£Qcer of high repute; he 
was tall and imposing in person, and of undoubted 
capacity and courage ; but old and, according to his 
enemies, very avaricious.^ The colonial minister 
gave him special instructions regarding that thorn in 
the side of Canada, Oswegb. To attack it openly 
would be indiscreet, as the two nations were at 
peace; but there was a way of dealing with it less 
hazardous, if not more lawful. This was to attack it 
vicariously by means of the Iroquois. "If Ahh6 
Piquet succeeds in his mission," wrote the minister 
to the new governor, " we can easily persuade these 

^ Ordonnance du 2 Janvier, 1760. La Jonquiere et Bigot au Mi" 
m'Mtre, 1750. Forty-six persons of all ages and both sexes had been 
induced by La Gktlissoni^re to go the year before. Lettres communes 
de La Jonquiere et Bigot, 1749. The total fixed population of Detroit 
and its neighborhood in 1760 is stated at fonr hundred and eighty- 
three souls. In the following two years, a considerable number of 
young men came of their own accord, and C^loron wrote to Mont- 
real to ask for girls to marry them. 

* Le Ministre a La GcUissonih'e, 14 Mai, 1749. 

* M€moire$ tur ie Canada, 174&-1760. The charges made here 
and elsewhere are denied, somewhat faintly, by a descendant of La 
Jonquiere in his elaborate Notice biographique of his ancestor. 

1760, 1761.] CLINTON AND LA JONQUlftRK 88 

savages to destroy Oswego. This is of the utmost 
importance; but act with great caution."^ In the 
next year the minister wrote again: "The only 
means that can be used for such an operation in time 
of peace are those of the Iroquois. If by making 
these savages regard such an establishment {^Oswego] 
as opposed to their liberty, and, so to speak, a usur- 
pation by which the English mean to get possession 
of their lands, they could be induced to undertake its 
destruction, an operation of the sort is not to be 
neglected; but M. le Marquis de la Jonqui^re should 
feel with what circumspection such an affair should 
be conducted, and he should labor to accomplish it 
in a manner not to commit himself."^ To this La 
Jonquidre replies that it will need time ; but that he 
will g^radually bring the Iroquois to attack and 
destroy the English post. He received stringent 
orders to use every means to prevent the English 
from encroaching, but to act towards them at the 
same time "with the greatest politeness."^ Thifi 
last injunction was scarcely fulfilled in a correspond- 
ence which he had with Clinton, governor of New 
York, who had written to complain of the new post 
at the Niagara portage as an invasion of English 
territory, and also of the arrest of four English 

1 Le Ministre a La Jonqw'ere, Mai, 1749. The instructions given 
to La Jonquibre before leaving France also urge the necessity of 
destroying Oswego. 

• Ordres du Roy et Dfpeches des Ministres ; h MM. de La Jonquikr 
ti Bigot, 16 Avril, 1760. See Appendix A for original. 

• Ordre$ du Roy ei Depeches des Ministres, 1750. 

84 CONFLICT FOR THE WEST. [1750, 1761. 

traders in the country of the Miamis. Niagara, like 
Oswego, was in the country of the Five Nations, 
whom the treaty of Utrecht declared "subject to the 
dominion of Great Britain."^ This declaration, pre- 
posterous in itself, was binding on France, whose 
plenipotentiaries had signed the treaty. The treaty 
also provided that the subjects of the two Crowns 
"shall enjoy full liberty of going and coming on 
account of trade," and Clinton therefore demanded 
that La Jonquidre should disavow the arrest of the 
four traders and punish its authors. The French 
governor replied with great asperity, spumed the 
claim that the Five Nations were British subjects, 
and justified the arrest.* He presently went further. 
Rewards were offered by his ofiScers for the scalps 
of Croghan and of another trader named Lowry.' 
When this reached the ears of William Johnson, on 
the Mohawk, he wrote to Clinton in evident anxiety 
for his own scalp: "If the French go on so, there is 
no man can be safe in his own house ; for I can at 
any time get an Indian to kill any man for a small 
matter. Their going on in that manner is worse 
than open war." 

The French on their side made counter-accusa- 
tions. The captive traders were examined on oath 
before La Jonquidre, and one of them, John Patton, 

1 Chalmers, Collection of Treaties, i. 882. 

* La Jonquiere a Clinton^ 10 AoiCttf 1751. 

* Deposition of Morris Turner and Ralph Kilgore, in Colonial 
Records of Pa,, r. 482. The deponents had been prisoners at 

17(S(^ 1751.] LA J0NQUI£:R£'S TROUBLES. 85 

18 reported to have said that Croghan had instigated 
Indians to kill Frenchmen.^ French officials declared 
that other English traders were guilty of the same 
practices; and there is very little doubt that the 
charge was true. 

The dispute with the English was not the only 
source of trouble to the governor. His superiors at 
Versailles would not adopt his views, and looked on 
him with distrust. He advised the building of forts 
near Lake Erie, and his advice was rejected. 
"Niagara and Detroit," he was told, "will secure 
forever our communications with Louisiana." ^ " His 
Majesty," again wrote the colonial minister, " thought 
that expenses would diminish after the peace; but, 
on the contrary, they have increased. There must 
be great abuses. You and the intendant must look 
to it."* Great abuses there were; and of the money 
sent to Canada for the service of the King the larger 
part found its way into the pockets of peculators. 
The colony was eaten to the heart with official cor- 
ruption; and the centre of it was Fran9ois Bigot, 
the intendant. The minister directed La Jonquidre's 
attention to certain malpractices which had been 
reported to him; and the old man, deeply touched, 
replied : " I have reached the age of sixty-six years, 
and there is not a drop of blood in my veins that does 
not thrill for the service of my King. I will not 

* Precis des Fails, avec leurs Pieces justijicatives, 100. 
' Ordres du Roy et D^piches des Ministres, 1750. 

• Ibid., 6 Juin, 1761. 

86 CONFLICT FOR THB WEST. [1750-1752. 

eonceal £rom you that the slightest suspicion on your 
part against me would cut the thread of my days.*' ^ 

Perplexities increased; affairs in the West grew 
worse and worse. La Jonquifire ordered C^loron to 
attack the English at Pickawillany; and C^loron 
could not or would not obey. "I cannot express," 
writes the governor, "how much this business troubles 
me; it robs me of sleep; it makes me ill." Another 
letter of rebuke presently came from Versailles. 
" Last year you wrote that you would soon drive the 
English from the Ohio; but private letters say that 
you have done nothing. This is deplorable. If not 
expelled, they will seem to acquire a right against 
us. Send force enough at once to drive them off, 
and cure them of all wish to return."^ La Jonqui^re 
answered with bitter complaints against C^loron, 
and then begged to be recalled. His health, already 
shattered, was ruined by fatigue and vexation; and 
he took to his bed. Before spring he was near his 
end.' It is said that, though very rich, his habits of 
thrift so possessed his last hours that, seeing wax 
candles burning in his chamber, he ordered others of 
tallow to be brought instead, as being good enough 
to die by. Thus frugally lighted on its way, his 
spirit fled ; and the Baron de Longueuil took his 
place till a new governor should arrive. 

1 hok Jonquihre au Minittre, 19 Octobre, 1751. 

* Ordres du Roy et Dipiches de$ Afinistres, 1751. 

* He died on the sixth of March, 1752 {Bigot au Ministre, 6 Mat) ; 
not on the seyenteenth of May, as stated in the M^nunreM tur U 
Canada, 174&-1760. 

1751,1762.] PERIL OF THE FRENCH. 87 

Sinister tidings came thick from the West. Ray- 
mond, commandant at the French fort on the 
Maumee, close to the centre of intrigue, wrote; 
**My people are leaving me for Detroit. Nobody 
wants to stay here and have hiB throat cut. All the 
tribes who go to the English at Pickawillany come 
back loaded with gifts. I am too weak to meet the 
danger. Instead of twenty men, I need five hundred. 
. . . We have made peace with the English, yet they 
try continually to make war on us by means of the 
Indians; they intend to be masters of all this upper 
country. The tribes here are leaguing together to 
kill all the French, that they may have nobody on 
their lands but their English brothers. This I am 
told by Coldf oot, a great Miami chief, whom I think 
an honest man, if there is any such thing among 
Indians. ... If the English stay in this country we 
are lost. We must attack, and drive them out." 
And he tells of war-belts sent from tribe to tribe, 
and rumors of plots and conspiracies far and near. 

Without doubt, the English traders spared no 
pains to gain over the Indians by fair means or foul; 
sold them goods at low rates, made ample gifts, and 
gave gunpowder for the asking. Saint-Ange, who 
commanded at Yinceimes, wrote that a storm would 
soon burst on the heads of the French. Joncaire 
reported that all the Ohio Indians sided with the 
English. Longueuil informed the minister that the 
Miamis had scalped two soldiers ; that the Piankishaws 
had killed seven Frenchmen; and that a squaw who 

88 CONFLICT FOR THE WEST. [1751, 1762 

had lived with one of the slain - declared that the 
tribes of the Wabash and Illinois were leaguing with 
the Osages for a combined insurrection. Every 
letter brought news of murder. Small -pox had 
broken out at Detroit. "It is to be wished," says 
Longueuil, " that it would spread among our rebels ; 
it would be fully as good as an army. . . . We are 
menaced with a general outbreak, and even Toronto 
is in danger. . . . Before long the English on the 
Miami will gain over all the surrounding tribes, get 
possession of Fort Chartres, and cut our communica- 
tions with Louisiana. "» 

The moving spirit of disaffection was the chief 
called Old Britain, or the Demoiselle, and its focus 
was his town of Pickawillany, on the Miami. At 
this place it is said that English traders sometimes 
mustered to the number of fifty or more. "It is 
they," wrote Longueuil, "who are the instigators of 
revolt and the source of all our woes."^ Whereupon 
the colonial minister reiterated his instructions to 
drive them off and plunder them, which he thought 
would "effectually disgust them," and bring all 
trouble to an end.* 

La Jonquidre's remedy had been more heroic, for 
he had ordered C^loron to attack the English and 
their red allies alike; and he charged that officer 

^ D€piche» de Longueuil; Lettres de Raymond; Benoit de Saint* 
Clerc h La Jonquihrtf Octobre, 1751. 

* Longueuil au Minietre, 21 Avril, 1752. 

* Le Ministre h La Jonquih^e, 1752. Z^ Ministrt h Duqueent^ 9 
JuiOet, 1752. 


with arrogance and disobedience because he had not 
done so. It is not certain that obedience was easy; 
for though, besides the garrison of regulars, a strong 
body of militia was sent up to Detroit to aid the 
stroke,^ the Indians of that post, whose co-operation 
was thought necessary, proved half-hearted, intract- 
able and even touched with disaffection. Thus the 
enterprise languished till, in June, aid came from 
another quarter. Charles Langlade, a young French 
trader married to a squaw at Green Bay, and strong 
in influence with the tribes of that region, came down 
the lakes from Michilimackinac with a fleet of canoes 
manned by two hundred and fifty Ottawa and O jibwa 
warriors; stopped a while at Detroit; then embarked 
again, paddled up the Maumee to Raymond's fort at 
the portage, and led his greased and painted rabble 
through the forest to attack the Demoiselle and his 
English friends. They approached Pickawillany at 
about nine o'clock on the morning of the twenty- 
first. The scared squaws fled from the cornfields into 
the town, where the wigwams of the Indians clustered 
about the fortified warehouse of the traders. Of 
these there were at the time only eight in the place. 
Most of the Indians also were gone on their summer 
hunt, though the Demoiselle remained with a band of 
his tribesmen. Great was the screeching of war-whoops 
and clatter of guns. Three of the traders were 
caught outside the fort. The remaining five closed 
the gate, and stood on tiieir defence. The fight was 

^ La Jonquiere d C^oron, 1 Octobre, 1761. 


soon over. Fourteen Miamis were shot down, the 
Demoiselle among the rest. The five white men held 
out till the afternoon, when three of them surrendered, 
and two, Thomas Bumey and Andrew McBryer, made 
their escape. One of the English prisoners being 
wounded, the victors stabbed him to death. Seventy 
years of missionaries had not weaned them from can- 
nibalism, and they boiled and ate the Demoiselle.^ 

The captive traders, plundered to the skin, were 
carried by Langlade to Duquesne, the new governor, 
who highly praised the bold leader of the enterprise, 
and recommended him to the minister for such 
reward as befitted one of his station. ^^ As he is not 
in the King's service, and has married a squaw, I 
will ask for him only a pension of two hundred 
francs, which will flatter him infinitely." 

The Marquis Duquesne, sprung from the race of 
the great naval commander of that name, had arrived 
towards midsummer; and he began his rule by a 
general review of troops and militia. His lofty 
bearing offended the Canadians; but he compelled 
their respect, and, according to a writer of the time, 
showed from the first that he was bom to command. 
He presently took in hand an enterprise which his 
predecessor would probably have accomplished, had 
the home government encouraged him. Duquesne, 
profiting by the infatuated neglect of the British 

1 On the attack of Pickawillany, Longtkeuil au Ministrt, 18 Aont, 
1762; DuquesM au Ministre, 25 Octohre, 1752; Colonial Records of 
Pa., T. 590 ; Journal of William Trent, 1752. Trent was on the spot 
a few days after the afEair. 

1768.] DUQUESNE. 91 

provincial assemblies, prepared to occupy the upper 
waters of the Ohio, and secure the passes with forts 
and garrisons. Thus the Virginian and Pennsyl- 
vanian traders would be debarred all access to the 
West, and the tribes of that region, bereft henceforth 
of English guns, knives, hatchets, and blankets, Eng- 
lish gifts and English cajoleries, would be thrown 
back to complete dependence on the French. The 
moral influence, too, of such a movement would be in- 
calculable ; for the Indian respects nothing so much 
as a display of vigor and daring, backed by force. 
In short, the intended enterprise was a master-stroke, 
and laid the axe to the very root of disaffection. It 
is true that, under the treaty, commissioners had 
been long in session at Paris to settle the question of 
American boundaries; but there was no likelihood 
that they would come to agreement; and if France 
would make good her western claims, it behooved 
her, while there was yet time, to prevent her rival 
£rom fastening a firm grasp on the countries in 

Yet the colonial minister regarded the plan with 
distrust. " Be on your guard, " he wrote to Duquesne, 
''against new undertakings; private interests are 
generally at the bottom of them. It is through these 
that new posts are established. Keep only such as 
are indispensable, and suppress the others. The 
expenses of the colony are enormous; and they have 
doubled since the peace." Again, a little later: 
** Build on the Ohio such forts as are absolutely 


necessary, but no more. Remember that His Majesly 
suspects your advisers of interested views." ^ 

No doubt there was justice in the suspicion. 
Every military movement^ and above all the establish- 
ment of every new post, was an opportunity to the 
official thieves with whom the colony swarmed. 
Some bands of favored knaves grew rich; while a 
much greater number, excluded from sharing the 
illicit profits, clamored against the undertaking, and 
wrote charges of corruption to Versailles. Thus the 
minister was kept tolerably well informed, but was 
scarcely the less helpless, for with the Atlantic 
between, the disorders of Canada defied his control. 
Duquesne was exasperated by the opposition that 
met him on all hands, and wrote to the minister: 
^^ There are so many rascals in this country that one 
is forever the butt of their attacks." ^ 

It seems that unlawful gain was not the only secret 
spring of the movement. An officer of repute says 
that the intendant, Bigot, enterprising in his pleasures 
as in his greed, was engaged in an intrigue with the 
wife of Chevalier P^an ; and wishing at once to con- 
sole the husband and to get rid of him, sought for 
him a high command at a distance from the colony. 
Therefore while Marin, an able officer, was made 
first in rank, P^an was made second. The same 
writer hints that Duquesne himself was influenced by 
similar motives in his appointment of leaders.^ 

1 Ordres du Roy et D€piche$ des Afimstres, 1763. 

* Duquune au Minittre, 29 Septembre, 1764. 

* Poncho t, M€moir€ sur la demiere Guerre de l*Am€rique septeih 
ifionale {td, 1781)^ i. a 


He mustered the colony troops, and ordered out 
the Canadians. With the former he was but half 
satisfied; with the latter he was delighted; and he 
praises highly their obedience and alacrity. ^^Ihad 
not the least trouble in getting them to march. 
They came on the minute, bringing their own guns, 
though many people tried to excite them to revolt; 
for the whole colony opposes my operations." The 
expedition set out early in the spring of 1753. The 
whole force was not much above a thousand men, 
increased by subsequent detachments to fifteen hun- 
dred; but to the Indians it seemed a mighty host; 
and one of their orators declared that the lakes and 
rivers were covered with boats and soldiers from 
Montreal to Presqu'isle.* Some Mohawk hunters by 
the St. Lawrence saw them as they passed, and 
hastened home to tell the news to Johnson, whom 
they wakened at midnight, "whooping and hollow- 
ing in a frightful manner."^ Lieutenant Holland at 
Oswego saw a fleet of canoes upon the lake, and was 
told by a roving Frenchman that they belonged to 
an army of six thousand men going to the Ohio, " to 
cause all the English to quit those parts." ^ 

The main body of the expedition landed at 
Presqu'isle, on the southeastern shore of Lake Erie, 
where the town of Erie now stands; and here for a 
while we leave them. 

^ Duqtusne au Minigtre, 27 Octobre, 1768. 

« Johnson to Clinton, 20 April, 1763, in N. Y. Col. Does., ri. 778 

• Holland to Clinton, 16 May, 1763, in N. Y. Col. Dots., ri. 780 



aoadll ceded to england. — aoadianb 8wbab fidblitt. -« 
Halifax founded. — Fbbnch Intrigue. — Aoadian Priests. — 
Mildness of English Rule. — Covert Hostility of Aoa- 
DiANS. — The New Oath. — Treachery of Versailles. — 
Indians incited to War. — Clerical Agents of Revolt. 
— ABBt Lb Loutre. — Acadians impelled to emigrate. — 
Misery of the Emigrants. — Humanity of Cornwallis and 
HopsoN. — Fanaticism and Violence of Lb Loutre. — Cap- 
ture OF the " St. FRAN9018." — The English at Bbau« 
bassin. — Lb Loutre drives out the Inhabitants. — Murder 
OF Howe. — Beaus^jour. — Insolence of Lb Loutre : his 
Harshness to the Acadians. — The Boundary Commission: 
ITS Failure. — Approaching War. 

While in the West all the signs of the sky fore- 
boded storm, another tempest was gathering in the 
East, less in extent, but not less in peril. The con- 
flict in Acadia has a melancholy interest, since it 
ended in a catastrophe which prose and verse have 
joined to commemorate, but of which the causes 
have not been understood. 

Acadia — that is to say, the peninsula of Nova 
Scotia, with the addition, as the English claimed, of 
the present New Brunswick and some adjacent 
country — was conquered by General Nicholson in 


1710-1749.] OATH OF FIDELITY. 95 

1710, and formally transferred by France to the 
British- Crown, three years later, by the treaty of 
Utrecht. By that treaty it was " expressly provided " 
that such of the French inhabitants as ^^ are willing 
to remain there and to be subject to the Kingdom of 
Great Britain, are to enjoy the free exercise of their 
religion according to the usage of the Church of 
Rome, as far as the laws of Great Britain do allow 
the- same ; " but that any who choose may remove, 
with their effects, if they do so within a year. Very 
few availed themselves of this right; and after the 
end of the year those who remained were required 
to take an oath of allegiance to King George. There 
is no doubt that in a little time they would have 
complied, had they been let alone; but the French 
authorities of Canada and Cape Breton did their 
utmost to prevent them, and employed agents to keep 
them hostile to England. Of these the most efficient 
were the French priests, who, in spite of the treaty, 
persuaded their flocks that they were still subjects of 
King Louis. Hence rose endless perplexity to the 
English commanders at Annapolis, who more than 
suspected that the Indian attacks with which they 
were harassed were due mainly to French instiga- 
tion.^ It was not till seventeen years after the treaty 
that the Acadians could be brought to take the oath 
without qualifications which made it almost useless. 

1 See the namerouB papers in Selections fiom the Public Docu- 
wtent$ of the Province of Nova Scotia (Halifax, 1869), pp. 1-166; a 
goyemment publication of great yalue. 


The English authorities seem to have shown through- 
out an unusual patience and forbearance. At length, 
about 1780, nearly all the inhabitants signed bj 
crosses, since few of them could write, an oath recog- 
nizing George II. as sovereign of Acadia, and promis- 
ing fidelity and obedience to him.^ This restored 
comparative quiet till the war of 1745, when some of 
the Acadians remained neutral, while some took 
arms against the English, and many others aided, the 
enemy with information and supplies. 

English power in Acadia, hitherto limited to a 
feeble garrison at Annapolis and a feebler one at 
Canseau, received at this time a great accession. 
The fortress of Louisbourg, taken by the English 
during the war, had been restored by the treaty; 
and the French at once prepared to make it a mili- 
tary and naval station more formidable than ever. 
Upon this the British ministry resolved to establish 
another station as a counterpoise ; and the harbor of 
Chebucto, on the south coast of Acadia, was chosen 
as the site of it. Thither in June, 1749, came a fleet 
of transports loaded with emigrants, tempted by 
offers of land and a home in the New World. Some 
were mechanics, tradesmen, farmers, and laborers; 
others were sailors, soldiers, and subaltern officers 
thrown out of employment by the peace. Including 

1 The oath was literatim as follows : *' Je Promets et Jure Sincere- 
ment en Foi de Chretien que Je serai entierement Fidele, et Obeierai 
Yndment Sa Biajest^ Le Roj George Second, qui [sic] Je reconnoi 
poor Le Souvrain Seigneur de I'Accadie ou Nouyelle Ecosse. 
Ainsi Dieu me Soit en Aide." 

1749-1754.] HALIFAX. 97 

women and children, they counted in all about 
twenty-five hundred. Alone of all the British 
colonies on the continent, this new settlement was 
the offspring, not of private enterprise, but of royal 
authority. Yet it was free like the rest, with the 
same popular representation and local self-govern- 
ment. Edward Comwallis, imcle of Lord Comwallis 
of the Revolutionary War, was made governor and 
commander-in-chief. Wolfe calls him "a man of 
approved courage and fidelity; " and even the caustic 
Horace Walpole speaks of him as "a brave, sensible 
young man, of great temper and good nature." 

Before summer was over, the streets were laid out, 
and the building-lot of each settler was assigned to 
him; before winter closed, the whole were imder 
shelter, the village was fenced with palisades and 
defended by redoubts of timber, and the battalions 
lately in garrison at Louisbourg manned the wooden 
ramparts. Succeeding years brought more emigrants, 
till in 1752 the population was above four thousand. 
Thus was bom into the world the city of Halifax. 
Along with the crumbling old fort and miserably 
disciplined garrison at Annapolis, besides six or seven 
small detached posts to watch the Indians and 
Acadians, it comprised the whole British force on the 
peninsula; for Canseau had been destroyed by the 

The French had never reconciled themselves to 
the loss of Acadia, and were resolved, by diplomacy 
or force, to win it back again; but the building of 

VOL. I. — 7 

98 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1764 

Halifax showed that this was to be no easy task, and 
filled them at the same time with alarm for the safety 
of Louisbourg. On one point, at least, they saw 
their policy clear. The Acadians, though those of 
them who were not above thirty-five had been bom 
under the British flag, must be kept French at 
heart, and taught that they were still French sub- 
jects. In 1748 they numbered eighty-eight hundred 
and fifty communicants, or from twelve to thirteen 
thousand souls; but an emigration, of which the 
causes will soon appear, had reduced them in 1752 
to but little more than nine thousand.^ These were 
divided into six principal parishes, one of the largest 
being that of Annapolis. Other centres of popular 
tion were Grand Pr^, on the Basin of Mines ; Beau- 
bassin, at the head of Chignecto Bay; Pisiquid, now 
Windsor; and Cobequid, now Truro. Their priests, 
who were missionaries controlled by the diocese of 
Quebec, acted also as their magistrates, ruling them 
for this world and the next. Being subject to a 
French superior, and being, moreover, wholly French 
at heart, they formed in this British province a wheel 
within a wheel, the inner movement always opposing 
the outer. 

Although, by the twelfth article of the treaty of 
Utrecht, France had solemnly declared the Acadians 

^ Description de l*Acadie, avec le Nom des Paroisses et le Nombre 
des Habitants, 1748. M€moire d presenter a la Cow sur la Necessity 
de fixer les Limites de VAcadie, par I'Abb^ de I'lsle-Dieu, 1768 
(17641). Compare the eitimatei in Censuses of Canada (Ottawsi 

1748^1764.] ACADIAN PRIESTS. 99 

to be British subjects, the govemment of Louis XV 
intrigued continually to turn. them from subjects into 
enemies. Before me is a mass of English documents 
on Acadian affairs from the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle 
to the catastrophe of 1755, and above a thousand 
pages of French official papers from the archives of 
Paris, memorials, reports, and secret correspondence, 
relating to the same matters. With the help of 
these and some collateral lights, it is not difficult to 
make a correct diagnosis of the political disease that 
ravaged this miserable country. Of a multitude of 
proofs, only a few can be given here ; but these will 

It was not that the Acadians had been ill-used by 
the English; the reverse was the case. They had 
been left in tree exercise of their worship, as stipu- 
lated by treaty. It is true that, from time to time, 
tiiere were loud complaints from French officials that 
religion was in danger, because certain priests had 
been rebuked, arrested, brought before the Council 
at Halifax, suspended from their functions, or 
required, on pain of banishment, to swear that they 
would do nothing against the interests of King 
Greorge. Yet such action on the part of the pro- 
vincial authorities seems, without a single exceptioit, 
1p have been the consequence of misconduct on the 
part of the priest, in opposing the govemment and 
stirring his flock to disaffection. La Jonqui^re, the 
determined adversary of the English, reported to the 
bishop that they did not oppose the ecclesiastics in 

100 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1751 

the exercise of their functions, and an order of Louis 
XV. admits that the Acadians have enjoyed liberty 
of religion.^ In a long document addressed in 1750 
to the colonial minister at Versailles, Roma, an 
officer at Louisboui^g, testifies thus to the mildness 
of British rule, though he ascribes it to interested 
motives. " The fear that the Acadians have of the 
Indians is the controlling motive which makes them 
side with the French. The English, having in view 
the conquest of Canada, wished to give the French 
of that colony, in their conduct towards the Acadians, 
a striking example of the mildness of their govern- 
ment. Without raising the fortime of any of the 
inhabitants, they have supplied them for more than 
thirty-five years with the necessaries of life, often on 
credit and with an excess of confidence, without 
troubling their debtors, without pressing them, with- 
out wishing to force them to pay. They have left 
them an appearance of liberty so excessive that they 
have not intervened in their disputes or even punished 
their crimes. They have allowed them to refuse with 
insolence certain moderate rents payable in grain 
and lawfully due. They have passed over in silence 
the contemptuous refusal of the Acadians to take 
titles from them for the new lands which they chose 
to occupy.* 

1 La Jonqmkrt h r£vique de Qu€bee, 14 Juin, 1760. Memoirt dm 
Roy pour Merm'r d* Instruction au Comie de Raymond, command<int pout 
Sa Maj€9t€h VIsle RoyaU [Cape Breton], 24 Avnl, 1761. 

* See Appendix B. 

174^-1754.] ACADIAN HOSTILITY. 101 

" We know very well, ** pursues Roma, " the fruits 
of this conduct in the last war; and the £nglish 
know it also. Judge then what will be the wrath 
and vengeance of this cruel nation." The fruits to 
which Roma alludes were the hostilities, open or 
secret, committed by the Acadians against the Eng- 
lish. He now ventures the prediction that the 
enraged conquerors will take their revenge by draft- 
ing all the young Acadians on board their ships-of- 
war, and there destroying them by slow starvation. 
He proved, however, a false prophet. The English 
governor merely required the inhabitants to renew 
their oath of allegiance, without qualification or 

It was twenty years since the Acadians had taken 
such an oath ; and meanwhile a new generation had 
grown up. The old oath pledged them to fidelity 
and obedience; but they averred that Phillips, then 
governor of the province, had given them, at the 
same time, assurance that they should not be required 
to bear arms against either French or Indians. In 
fact, such service had not been demanded of them, 
and they would have lived in virtual neutrality, had 
not many of them broken their oaths and joined the 
French war-parties. For this reason Comwallis 
thought it necessary that, in renewing the pledge, 
they should bind themselves to an allegiance as com- 
plete as that required of other British subjects. This 
spread general consternation. Deputies from the 
Acadian settlements appeared at Halifax, bringing a 

102 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1754. 

paper signed with the marks of a thousand persons. 
The following passage contains the pith of it. ^ The 
inhabitants in general, sir, over the whole extent of 
this country are resolved not to take the oath which 
your Excellency requires of us; but if your Excel- 
lency will grant us our old oath, with an exemption 
for ourselves and our heirs from taking up arms, we 
will accept it."^ The answer of Comwallis was by 
no means so stem as it has been represented.' After 
the formal reception he talked in private with the 
deputies; and "they went home in good humor, 
promising great things."* 

The refusal of the Acadians to take the required 
oath was not wholly spontaneous, but was mainly 
due to influence from without. The French officials 
of Cape Breton and Isle St. Jean, now Prince 
Edward Island, exerted themselves to the utmost, 
chiefly through the agency of the priests, to excite 
the people to refuse any oath that should commit 
them fully to British allegiance. At the same time 
means were used to induce them to migrate to the 
neighboring islands under French rule, and efforts 
were also made to set on the Indians to attack the 
English. But the plans of the French will best 
appear in a despatch sent by La Jonquidre to the 
colonial minister in the autumn of 1749. 

" Monsieur Comwallis issued an order on the tenth 

* Public Document* of Nova Scotia, 173. 

* See Ibid,, 174, where the answer is printed. 

" Comwallis to the Board of Trade, 11 September, 1740. 

1749-1764.] COVERT WAR. 108 

of the said month [Augtisi]^ to the effect that if the 
inhabitants will remain faithful subjects of the King 
of Great Britain, he will allow them priests and 
public exercise of their religion, with the under- 
standing that no priest shall officiate without his 
permission or before taking an oath of fidelity to the 
King of Great Britain. Secondly, that the inhabit- 
ants shall not be exempted from defending their 
houses, their lands, and the Government. Thirdly, 
that they shall take an oath of fidelity to the King 
of Great Britain, on the twenty-sixth of this month, 
before officers sent them for that purpose." 

La Jonquidre proceeds to say that on hearing these 
conditions the Acadians were filled with perplexity 
and alarm, and that he, the governor, had directed 
Boish^bert, his chief officer on the Acadian frontier, 
to encourage them to leave their homes and seek 
asylum on French soil. He thus recounts the steps 
he has taken to harass the English of Halifax by 
means of their Indian neighbors. As peace had been 
declared, the operation was delicate ; and when three 
of these Indians came to him from their missionary, 
Le Loutre, with letters on the subject. La Jonqui^re 
was discreetly reticent. "I did not care to give 
them any advice upon the matter, and confined my- 
self to a promise that I would on no account abandon 
them ; and I have provided for supplying them with 
everything, whether arms, ammunition, food, or 
other necessaries. It is to be desired that these 
savages should succeed in thwarting the designs of 

104 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [174d-1754 

the English, and even their settlement at Hali&x. 
They are bent on doing so; and if they can carry 
out their plans, it is certain that they will give the 
English great trouble, and so harass them that they 
will be a great obstacle in their path. These savages 
are to act alone ; neither soldier nor French inhabit- 
ant is to join them ; everything will be done of their 
own motion, and without showing that I had any 
knowledge of the matter. This is very essential; 
therefore I have written to the Sieur de Boish^bert to 
observe great prudence in his measures, and to act 
very secretly, in order that the English may not 
perceive that we are providing for the needs of the 
said savages. 

^^It will be the missionaries who will manage all 
the negotiation, and direct the movements of the 
savages, who are in excellent hands, as the Reverend 
Father Germain and Monsieur I'Abb^ Le Loutre are 
very capable of making the most of them, and using 
them to the greatest advantage for our interests. 
They will manage their intrigue in such a way as 
not to appear in it." 

La Jonquidre then recounts the good results which 
he expects from these measures: first, the English 
will be prevented from making any new settlements ; 
secondly, we shall gradually get the Acadians out 
of their hands; and lastly, they will be so discour- 
aged by constant Indian attacks that they will 
renounce their pretensions to the parts of the 
country belonging to the King of France. "I feel. 

1760.] COVERT WAR. 106 

Monseigneur," — thus the governor concludes his 
despatch, — " all the delicacy of this negotiation ; be 
assured that I will conduct it with such precaution 
that the English will not be able to say that my 
orders had any part in it."^ 

He kept his word, and so did the missionaries. 
The Indians gave great trouble on the outskirts of 
Halifax, and murdered many harmless settlers; yet 
the English authorities did not at first suspect that 
they were hounded on by their priests, under the 
direction of the governor of Canada, and with the 
privity of the minister at Versailles. More than 
this; for, looking across the sea, we find royalty 
itself lending its august countenance to the machina- 
tion. Among the letters read before the King in his 
cabinet in May, 1750, was one from Desherbiers, then 
commanding at Louisbourg, sajring that he was advis- 
ing the Acadians not to take the oath of allegiance 
to the King of England; another from Le Loutre, 
declaring that he and Father Germain were consult- 
ing together how to disgust the English with their 
enterprise of Halifax ; and a third from the intendant, 
Bigot, announcing that Le Loutre was using the 
Indians to harass the new settlement, and that he 
himself was sending them powder, lead, and mer- 
chandise, "to confirm them in their good designs."* 

To this the minister replies in a letter to Desher- 
biers: "His Majesty is well satisfied with all you 

* hn Jonqutere au yfiniatre, 9 Ortobre, 1749. See Appendix B. 

* Riiumidts Lettres hits au Travail du Roy, Mai, 1760. 

106 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1760, 176L 

have done to thwart the English in their new estab- 
lishment. If the dispositions of the savages are such 
as they seem, there is reason to hope that in the 
course of the winter they will succeed in so harassing 
the settlers that some of them will become disheart- 
ened." Desherbiers is then told that His Majesty 
desires him to aid English deserters in escaping from 
Halifax.^ Supplies for the Indians are also promised ; 
and he is informed that twelve medals are sent him 
by the frigate "La Mutine," to be given to the chiefs 
who shall most distinguish themselves. In another 
letter Desherbiers is enjoined to treat the English 
authorities with great politeness.' 

When Count Raymond took command at Louis- 
bourg, he was instructed, under the royal hand, to 
give particular attention to the affairs of Acadia, 
especially in two points, — the management of the 
Indians, and the encouraging of Acadian emigration 
to countries under French rule. "His Majesty," 
says the document, "has already remarked that the 
savages have been most favorably disposed. It is 
of the utmost importance that no means be neglected 
to keep them so. The missionaries among them are 
in a better position than anybody to contribute to 
this end, and His Majesty has reason to be satisfied 
with the pains they take therein. The Sieur de 

1 In 1760 nine captured deserters from PhiUips's regiment de- 
clared on their trial that the French had aided them and supplied 
them all with monej. PvUic DocumenU of Nova Scotia, 103. 

• Le Minittrt h Desherbierg, 23 Mai, 1760 ; Ibid., 31 Mai, 1760. 

I741>-1764.] COVERT WAR. 107 

Raymond will excite these missionaries not to slacken 
their efforts ; but he will warn them at the same time 
80 to contain their zeal as not to compromise them- 
selves with the English, and give just occasion of 
complaint."! That is, the King orders his representa- 
tive to encourage the missionaries in instigating their 
flocks to butcher English settlers, but to see that 
they take care not to be found out. The injunction 
was hardly needed. ^* Monsieur Desherbiers," says a 
letter of earlier date, ^^has engaged Abb^ Le Loutre 
to distribute the usual presents among the savages, 
and Monsieur Bigot has placed in his hands an addi- 
tional gift of cloth, blankets, powder, and ball, to be 
given them in case they harass the English at 
Halifax. This missionary is to induce them to do 
so."' In spite of these efforts, the Indians began to 
relent in their hostilities; and when Longueuil 
became provisional governor of Canada, he com- 
plained to the minister that it was very difficult to 
prevent them from making peace with the English, 
though Father Germain was doing his best to keep 
them on the war-path.^ La Jonquidre, too, had done 
his best, even to the point of departing from his 
original policy of allowing no soldier or Acadian to 
take part with them. He had sent a body of troops 
under La Come, an able partisan officer, to watch 

^ M^moire du Roy pour aervir d'Inatruction au Comte de Raymond, 
24 AvrU, 1761. 

* Lettre commune de Desherbiers et Bigot au Ministre, 16 Ao^ 

* Longueuil au Ministre, 26 Avril, 1762. 

108 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749^1764. 

the English frontier; and in the same vessel was sent 
a supply of ^* merchandise, guns, and munitions for 
the savages and the Acadians who may take up arms 
with them ; and the whole is sent under pretext of 
trading in furs with the savages." ^ On another occa- 
sion La Jonqui^re wrote : ^^ In order that the savages 
may do their part courageously, a few Acadians, 
dressed and painted in their way, could join them to 
strike the £nglish. I cannot help consenting to 
what these savages do, hecause we have our hands 
tied [by the peace\ and so can do nothing ourselves. 
Besides, I do not think that any inconvenience will 
come of letting the Acadians mingle among them, 
because if they [the Acadians] are captured, we shall 
say that they acted of their own accord. "^ in other 
words, he will encourage them to break the peace; 
and then, by means of a falsehood, have them pun- 
ished as felons. Many disguised Acadians did in 
fact join the Indian war-parties ; and their doing so 
was no secret to the English. " What we call here 
an Indian war,'* wrote Hopson, successor of Com- 
wallis, ^^is no other than a pretence for the French 
to commit hostilities on His Majesty's subjects." 

At length the Indians made peace, or pretended 
to do so. The chief of Le Loutre's mission, who 
called himself Major Jean-Baptiste Cope, came to 
Halifax with a deputation of his tribe, and they all 
affixed their totems to a solemn treaty. In the next 

1 Bigot au Ministrey 1749. 

* D^pSches de La Jonquih-t, 1 Mai, 1761. See Appendix B. 

174^-1754.] LE LOUTRE. 109 

summer they returned with ninety or a hundred 
warriors, were weU entertained, presented with gifts, 
and sent homeward in a schooner. On the way they 
seized the vessel and murdered the crew. This is 
told by Prdvost, intendant at Louisbourg, who does 
not say that French instigation had any part in the 
treachery.^ It is nevertheless certain that the Indians 
were paid for this or some contemporary murder; 
for Provost, writing just four weeks later, says: 
^Last month the savages took eighteen English 
scalps, and Monsieur Le Loutre was obliged to pay 
them eighteen hundred livrei?, Acadian money, 
which I have reimbursed him."^ 

From the first, the services of this zealous mis- 
sionary had been beyond price. Provost testifies 
that, though Comwallis does his best to induce the 
Acadians to swear fidelity to King George, Le Loutre 
keeps them in allegiance to King Louis, and 
threatens to set hie Indians upon them unless they 
declare against the English. "I have already," adds 
Provost, "paid him 11,183 livres for his daily 
expenses; and I never cease advising him to be as 
economical as possible, and always to take care not 
to compromise himself with the English Govern- 
ment."' In consequence of "good service to religion 
and the state," Le Loutre received a pension of eight 

1 Provost au Miniitre, 12 Mars, 1763 ; Ibid., 17 JuilUt, 1763. Pr^ 
Tost was ordonnatew, or intendant, at Louisbourg. The treaty wiU 
be foond in full in Public Documents of Nova Scotia, 6SS. 

« PrSvost au Ministre, 16 Aoitt, 1763. 

* Ibid., 22 JuiUet, 1760. 

110 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1761 

hundred livres, as did also Maillard, his brother mis- 
sionary on Cape Breton. "The fear is," writes the 
colonial minister to the governor of Louisbourg, " that 
their zeal may carry them too far. Excite them to 
keep the Indians in our interest, but do not let them 
compromise us. Act always so as to make the 
English appear as aggressors."^ 

All the Acadian clergy, in one degree or another, 
seem to have used their influence to prevent the 
inhabitants from taking the oath, and to persuade 
them that they were still French subjects. Some 
were noisy, turbulent, and defiant; others were too 
tranquil to please the officers of the Crown. A mis- 
sionary at AnnapoHs is mentioned as old, and there- 
fore inefficient; while the cur^ at Grand Pr^, also an 
elderly man, was too much inclined to confine himself 
to his spiritual functions. It is everywhere apparent 
that those who chose these priests, and sent them as 
missionaries into a British province, expected them 
to act as enemies of the British Crown. The maxim 
is often repeated that duty to religion is inseparable 

1 Le Ministre au Cotnte de Raymond, 21 JuiUet, 1752. It is curious 
to compare these secret instructions, given by the minister to the 
colonial officials, with a letter which the same minister, Rouill€, 
wrote ostensibly to La Jonqui^re, but which was really meant for 
the eye of the British minister at Versailles, Lord Albemarle, to 
whom it was shown in proof of French good faith. It was after- 
wards printed, along with other papers, in a small volume called 
Pr€eis de$ FaiU, avec leurs Pihcet jutt{ficative8, which was sent by 
the French government to all the courts of Europe to show that 
the English alone were answerable for the war. The letter, it is 
needless to say, breathes the highest sentiments of international 


from duty to the King of France. The Bishop of 
Quebec desired the Abb^ de TIsle-Dieu to represent 
to the Court the need of more missionaries to keep 
the Acadians Catholic and French; but, he adds, 
there is danger that they (the missionaries) will be 
required to take an oath to do nothing contrary to 
the interests of the King of Great Britain.^ It is a 
wonder that such a pledge was not always demanded. 
It was exacted in a few cases, notably in that of 
Girard, priest at Cobequid, who, on charges of insti- 
gating his flock to disaffection, had been sent prisoner 
to Halifax, but released on taking an oath in the 
above terms. Thereupon he wrote to Longueuil at 
Quebec that his parishioners wanted to submit to the 
English, and that he, having sworn to be true to the 
British King, could not prevent them. " Though I 
don't pretend to be a casuist," writes Longueuil, "I 
could not help answering him that he is not obliged 
to keep such an oath, and that he ought to labor in 
all zeal to preserve and increase the number of the 
faithful." Girard, to his credit, preferred to leave 
the colony, and retired to Isle St. Jean.* 

Comwallis soon discovered to what extent the 
clergy stirred their flocks to revolt; and he wrote 
angrily to the Bishop of Quebec : " Was it you who 
sent Le Loutre as a missionary to the Micmacs ? and 
is it for their good that he excites these wretches to 

1 Llsle-Dieu, MSmoire iur VAat actuel des Misnons, 1768 

' Longueuil au Minittre, 27 Avril, 1762. 

112 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1740-1764. 

practise their cruelties against those who have shown 
them every kindness? The conduct of the priests of 
Acadia has been such that by command of His 
Majesty I have published an Order declaring that if 
any one of them presumes to exercise his functions 
without my express permission he shall be dealt 
with according to the laws of England."^ 

Tlie English, bound by treaty to allow the Acadians 
the exercise of their religion, at length conceived the 
idea of replacing the French priests by others to be 
named by the Pope at the request of the British gov- 
ernment. This, becoming known to the French, 
greatly alarmed them, and the intendant at Louis- 
bourg wrote to the minister that the matter required 
serious attention.' It threatened, in fact, to rob 
tliem of their chief agents of intrigue; but their 
alarm proved needless, as the plan was not carried 
into execution. 

The French officials would have been better pleased 
had tlie conduct of Comwallis been such as to aid 
their efforts to alienate the Acadians ; and one writer, 
while confessing the ^^ favorable treatment" of the 
English towards tlie inhabitants, denounces it as a 
snare.' If so, it was a snare intended simply to 
reconcile them to English rule. Nor was it without 
effect. ^^ We must give up altogether the idea of an 

1 CornwattU to (he Bishop of Quebec, 1 December, 1740. 

> Daudin, pr^re, h PrSrott, 23 Octobre, 1753. Pr^lfott am 
U Novembre, 1753. 

> Mimoire k pritenter m h Cowr, 1763w 

1749-1764.] UNWILLING EMIGRANTS. 118 

insurrection in Acadia," writes an officer of Cape 
Breton. ^^The Acadians cannot be trusted; they are 
controlled by fear of the Indians, which leads them 
to breathe French sentiments, even when their inclina- 
tions are English. They will yield to their interests ; 
and the English will make it impossible that they should 
either hurt them or serve us, unless we take measures 
different from those we have hitherto pursued." ^ 

During all this time, constant efforts were made to 
stimulate Acadian emigration to French territory, 
and thus to strengthen the French frontier. In 
this work the chief agent was Le Loutre. ^'This 
priest," says a French writer of the time, ^^ urged the 
people of Les Mines, Port Royal [Annapolis]^ and 
other places, to come and join the French, and 
promised to all, in the name of the governor, to settle 
and support them for three years, and even indemnify 
them for any losses they might incur; threatening if 
they did not do as he advised, to abandon them, 
deprive them of their priests, have their wives and 
children carried off, and their property laid waste by 
the Indians."' Some passed over the isthmus to the 
shores of the gulf, and others made their way to the 
Strait of Canseau. Vessels were provided to convey 
them, in the one case to Isle St. Jean, now Prince 
Eldward Island, and in the other to Isle Rojrale, 
called by the English, Cape Breton. Some were 
eager to go; some went with reluctance; some would 

1 Roma au Minittre, 11 Mars, 1750. 
> MSmmres sur le Canada, 1740-1760. 
VOL. L — 8 

114 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1761 

scarcely be persuaded to go at all. ^^They leave 
their homes with great regret," reports the governor 
of Isle St. Jean, speaking of the people of Cobequid, 
^^and they began to move their luggage only when 
the savages compelled them."^ These savages were 
the flock of Abb^ Le Loutre, who was on the spot to 
direct the emigration. Two thousand Acadians are 
reported to have left the peninsula before the end of 
1751, and many more followed within the next two 
years. Nothing could exceed the misery of a great 
part of these emigrants, who had left perforce most 
of their effects behind. They became disheartened 
and apathetic. The intendant at Louisbourg says 
that they will not take the trouble to clear the land, 
and that some of them live, like Indians, under huts 
of spruce-branches.^ The governor of Isle St. Jean 
declares that they are dying of hunger.^ Girard, the 
priest who had withdrawn to this island rather than 
break his oath to the English, writes: ^^Many of 
them cannot protect themselves day or night from 
the severity of the cold. Most of the children are 
entirely naked ; and when I go into a house they are 
all crouched in the ashes, close to the fire. They 
run off and hide themselves, without shoes, stock- 
ings, or shirts. They are not all reduced to this 
extremity, but nearly all are in want."^ Mortality 

^ Bonaventure h De$herbier$, 26 Juin, 1761. 
* PrAfOit au Ministre, 26 Novembre, 1760. 
' Bonaventure, ut supra. 
^ Girard h (Bonaventure f), 27 Octobre, 1768L 


among them was great, and would have been greater 
but for rations supplied by the French government. 

During these proceedings, the English governor, 
Comwallis, seems to have justified the character of 
good temper given him by Horace Walpole. His 
attitude towards the Acadians remained on the 
whole patient and conciliatory. "My friends," he 
replied to a deputation of them asking a general per- 
mission to leave the province, " I am not ignorant of 
the fact that every means has been used to alienate 
the hearts of the French subjects of His Britannic 
Majesty. Great advantages have been promised you 
elsewhere, and you have been made to imagine that 
your religion was in danger. Threats even have 
been resorted to in order to induce you to remove to 
French territory. The savages are made use of to 
molest you; they are to cut the throats of all who 
remain in their native country, attached to their own 
interests and faithful to the Government. You know 
tiiat certain officers and missionaries, who came from 
Canada last autumn, have been the cause of all our 
trouble during the winter. Their conduct has been 
horrible, without honor, probity, or conscience. 
Their aim is to embroil you with the Government. 
I will not believe that they are authorized to do so 
by the Court of France, that being contrary to good 
faith and the friendship established between the two 
Crowns. " 

What foundation there was for this amiable confi- 
dence in the Court of Versailles has been seen already. 

116 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1764. 

"When you declared your desire to submit your- 
selves to another Government," pursues ComwalliB, 
" our determination was to hinder nobody f ropi fol- 
lowing what he imagined to be his interest. We 
know that a forced service is worth nothing, and that 
a subject compelled to be so against his will is not 
far from being an enemy. We confess, however, 
that your determination to go gives us pain. We 
are aware of your industry and temperance, and that 
you are not addicted to any vice or debauchery. 
This province is your country. You and your 
fathers have cultivated it; naturally you ought your- 
selves to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Such was 
the design of the King, our master. You know that 
we have followed his orders. You know that we 
have done everything to secure to you not only the 
occupation of your lands, but the ownership of them 
forever. We have given you also every possible 
assurance of the free and public exercise of the 
Roman Catholic religion. But I declare to you 
frankly that, according to our laws, nobody can pos- 
sess lands or houses in the province who shall refuse 
to take the oath of allegiance to his King when 
required to do so. You know very well that there 
are ill-disposed and mischievous persons among you 
who corrupt the others. Your inexperience, your 
ignorance of the affairs of government, and your habit 
of following the counsels of those who have not your 
real interests at heart, make it an easy matter to 
seduce you. In your petitions you ask for a general 

1749-.1754.] HOPSON. 117 

leave to quit the province. The only manner in which 
you can do so is to follow the regulations already 
established, and provide yourselves with our pass- 
port. And we declare that nothing shall prevent us 
from giving such passports to all who ask for them, 
the moment peace and tranquillity are re-estalh 
Ushed.*'^ He declares as his reason for not giving 
them at once, that on crossing the frontier '^you will 
have to pass the French detachments and savages 
assembled there, and that they compel all the inhabit- 
ants who go there to take up arms" against the 
English. How well this reason was founded will 
soon appear. 

Hopson, the next governor, described by the 
French themselves as a ^^ mild and peaceable officer, " 
was no less considerate in his treatment of the 
Acadians; and at the end of 1752 he issued the fol- 
lowing order to his military subordinates : '^ You are 
to look on the French inhabitants in the same light 
as the rest of His Majesty's subjects, as to the pro- 
tection of the laws and government; for which reason 
nothing is to be taken from them by force, or any 
price set upon their goods but what they themselves 
agree to. And if at any time the inhabitants should 
obstinately refuse to comply with what His Majesty's 
service may require of them, you are not to redress 

1 The aboTe passages are from two addresses of Comwallis, 
read to the Acadian deputies in April and May, 1760. The com- 
bined extracts here given convey the spirit of the whole. See 
PMic DocumentM of Nova Scotia, 186-190. 

tl8 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1751 

youiself by military force or in any unlawful manner, 
but to lay the case before the Governor and wait his 
orders thereon."^ Unfortunately, the mild rule of 
Cornwallis and Hopson was not always maintained 
under their successor, Lawrence. 

Louis Joseph Le Loutre, vicar-general of Acadia 
and missionary to the Micmacs, was the most con- 
spicuous person in the province, and more than any 
other man was answerable for the miseries that over- 
whelmed it The sheep of which he was the shepherd 
dwelt, at a day's journey from Halifax, by the banks 
of the river Shubenacadie, in small cabins of logs, 
mixed with wigwams of birch-bark. They were not 
a docile flock; and to manage them needed address, 
energy, and money, — with all of which the mis- 
sionary was provided. He fed their traditional dis- 
like of the English, and fanned their fanaticism, bom 
of the villanous counterfeit of Christianity which he 
and his predecessors had imposed on them. Thus he 
contrived to use them on the one hand to murder the 
English, and on the other to terrify the Acadians; 
yet not without cost to the French government; for 
they had learned the value of money, and, except 
when their blood was up, were slow to take scalps 
without pay. Le Loutre was a man of boundless 
egotism, a violent spirit of domination, an intense 
hatred of the English, and a fanaticism that stopped 
at nothing. Towards the Acadians he was a despot; 
and this simple and superstitious people, extremely 

1 Public Documents of Nova Scotia, 107. 

17i»-17M.] LE LOUTRE. 119 

susceptible to the influence of their priests, trembled 
before him. He was scarcely less masterful in his 
dealings with the Acadian clergy ; and, aided by his 
quality of the bishop's vicar-general, he dragooned 
even the unwilling into aiding his schemes. Three 
successive governors of New France thought him 
invaluable, yet feared the impetuosity of his zeal, 
and vainly tried to restrain it within safe bounds. 
The bishop, while approving his objects, thought his 
medicines too violent, and asked in a tone of reproof: 
**Is it right for you to refuse the Acadians the sacra- 
ments, to threaten that they shall be deprived of the 
services of a priest, and that the savages shall treat 
tiiem as enemies?"^ "Nobody," says a French 
Catholic contemporary, "was more fit than he to 
carry discord and desolation into a country."' Com- 
wallis called him "a good-for-nothing scoundrel," 
and offered a hundred pounds for his head.^ 

The authorities at Halifax, while exasperated by 
tiie perfidy practised on them, were themselves not 
always models of international virtue. They seized 
a French vessel in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, on the 
charge — probably true — that she was carrying arms 
and ammunition to the Acadians and Indians. A 
less defensible act was the capture of the armed brig 

^ L'JSveque de Q^^c h Le LmUre ; tranBlation in Public Docw- 
wtenis of Nova Scotia, 240. 

s Mhnoires sur U Canada, 1740-1760. 

* On Le Loutre, compare Public Documents of Nova Scotia, 178- 
180, note, with authorities there cited ; N Y. Col, Does., z. 11 ; 
Memoires sur le Canada, 1740-1760 (Quebec, 1838). 

120 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1764 

^St. Francois/' laden with supplies for a fort lately 
re-established by the French, at the mouth of the 
river St. John, on ground claimed by both nations. 
Captain Rous, a New England officer commanding a 
frigate in the royal navy, opened fire on the "St. 
Franqois," took her after a short cannonade, and 
carried her into Halifax, where she was condemned 
by the court. Several captures of small craft, accused 
of illegal acts, were also made by the English. 
These proceedings, being all of an overt nature, gave 
the officers of Louis XV. precisely what they wanted, 
— an occasion for uttering loud complaints, and 
denouncing the English as breakers of the peace. 

But the movement most alarming to the French 
was the English occupation of Beaubassin, — an act 
perfectly lawful in itself, since, without reasonable 
doubt, the place was within the limits of Acadia, and 
therefore on English ground.^ Beaubassin was a 
considerable settlement on the isthmus that joins the 
Acadian peninsula to the mainland. Northwest of 
the settlement lay a wide marsh, through which ran 
a stream called the Missaguash, some two miles 
beyond which rose a hill called Beaus^jour. On and 
near this hill were stationed the troops and Cana- 
dians sent under Boishdbert and La Come to watch 
the English frontier. This French force excited 
disaffection among the Acadians through all the 

1 La Jonqui^re himself admits that he thought so. " Cette partie 
Ik €tant, k ce que je crois, d^pendante de TAcadie." — La Jonquikre 
au Ministre, 3 Octobre, 1760. 

17i»-1754.] BEAUBASSIN. 121 

neighboring districts, and constantly helped them to 
emigrate. Comwallis therefore resolved to send an 
English force to the spot; and accordingly, towards 
the end of April, 1750, Major Lawrence landed at 
Beaubassin with four hundred men. News of their 
approach had come before them, and Le Loutre was 
here with his Micmacs, mixed with some Acadians 
whom he had persuaded or bullied to join him. 
Resolved that the people of Beaubassin should not 
live under English influence, he now with his own 
hand set fire to the parish church, while his white 
and red adherents burned the houses of the inhabit- 
ants, and thus compelled them to cross to the French 
side of the river. ^ This was the first forcible removal 
of the Acadians. It was as premature as it was 
violent; since Lawrence, being threatened by La 
Come, whose force was several times greater than 
his own, presently re-embarked. In the following 
September he returned with seventeen small vessels 
and about seven hundred men, and again attempted 
to land on the strand of Beaubassin. La Jonquidre 
says that he could only be resisted indirectly, because 
he was on the English side of the river. This 

1 It has been erroneously stated that Beaubassin was burned 
bj its own inhabitants. " Laloutre, ayant yu que les Acadiens ne 
paroissoient pas fort presses d'abandonner leurs biens, ayoit lui- 
mtoe mis le feu k F]feglise, et Tavoit fait mettre aux maisons des 
habitants par quelques-uns de ceux qu'il avoit gagn^s," etc. 
M^moirtM aw le Canada, 1740-1760. "Les sauvages y mirent le 
feu." Pr^is dea Faita, 85. "Les sauvages mirent le fen aux 
maisons." Pr€voat au Miniatre, 22 Juillet, 1750. 

122 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1764. 

indirect resistance was undertaken by Le Loutre, 
who had thrown up a breastwork along the shore 
and manned it with his Indians and his painted and 
befeathered Acadians. Nevertheless the English 
landed, and, with some loss, drove out the defenders. 
Le Loutre himself seems not to have been among 
them; but they kept up for a time a helter-skelter 
fight, encouraged by two other missionaries, Grermain 
and Laleme, who were near being caught by the 
English.^ Lawrence quickly routed them, took 
possession of the cemetery, and prepared to fortify 
himself. The village of Beaubassin, consisting, it 
is said, of a hundred and forty houses, had been 
burned in the spring; but there were still in the 
neighborhood, on the English side, many hamlets 
and farms, with bams full of grain and hay. 
Le Loutre 's Indians now threatened to plunder 
and kill the inhabitants if they did not take 
arms against the English. Few complied, and the 
greater part fled to the woods.' On this the Indians 
and their Acadian allies set the houses and bams on 
fire, and laid waste the whole district, leaving the 
inhabitants no choice but to seek food and shelter 
with the French.* 

1 La Valli^re, Journal de ee gut s'ut passi h CheniUm [Chignecto] 
et auire$ parties des Frontihres de PAcadie, 1760-1761. La VaUi^ 
was an officer on the spot. 

> Privott au Mintstre, 27 Septembre, 1760. 

> ''Les sauTages et Accadiens mirent le fen dans tontes lef 
maisons et granges, pleines de bled et de fourrages, ce qui a caose 
one grande disette." — La Vallitre, ut supra. 

1749-1764.] MURDER OF HOWE. 123 

The English fortified themselves on a low hill by 
the edge of the marsh, planted palisades, built bar- 
racks, and named the new work Fort Lawrence. 
Slight skirmishes between them and the French were 
frequent. Neither party respected the dividing line 
of the Missaguash, and a petty warfare of aggression 
and reprisal began, and became chronic. Before the 
end of the autumn there was an atrocious act of 
treachery. Among the English officers was Captain 
Edward Howe, an intelligent and agreeable person, 
who spoke French fluently, and had been long sta- 
tioned in the province. Le Loutre detested him, 
dreading his influence over the Acadians, by many 
of whom he was known and liked. One morning, 
at about eight o'^clock, the inmates of Fort Lawrence 
saw what seemed an officer from Beaus^jour, carrying 
a flag, and followed by several men in uniform, wad- 
ing through the sea of grass that stretched beyond 
the Missaguash. When the tide was out, this river 
was but an ugly trench of reddish mud gashed across 
the face of the marsh, with a thread of half-fluid 
slime lazily crawling along the bottom ; but at high 
tide it was filled to the brim with an opaque torrent 
that would have overflowed, but for the dikes thrown 
up to confine it. Behind the dike on the farther 
bank stood the seeming officer, waving his flag in 
sign that he desired a parley. He was in reality no 
officer, but one of Le Loutre 's Indians in disguise, 
fitienne Le B&tard, or, as others say, the great chief, 
Jean-Baptiste Cope. Howe, carrying a white flag, 

124 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [174d-1754. 

and accompanied by a few officers and men, went 
towards the river to hear what he had to say. As 
they drew near, his looks and language excited their 
suspicion. But it was too late; for a number of 
Indians, who had hidden behind the dike during the 
night, fired upon Howe across the stream, and mor- 
tally wounded him. They continued their fire on his 
companions, but could not prevent them from carry- 
ing the dying man to the fort. The French officers, 
indignant at this villany, did not hesitate to charge 
it upon Le Loutre ; " for," says one of them, " what is 
not a wicked priest capable of doing?" But Le 
Loutre's brother missionary, Maillard, declares that 
it was purely an effect of religious zeal on the part ol 
the Micmacs, who, according to him, bore a deadly 
grudge against Howe because, fourteen years before, 
he had spoken words disrespectful to the H0I3 
Virgin.^ Maillard adds that the Indians were much 
pleased with what they had done. Finding, how- 
ever, that they could effect little against the EnglisK 
troops, they changed their field of action, repaired to 
the outskirts of Halifax, murdered about thirty 
settlers, and carried off eight or ten prisoners. 
Strong reinforcements came from Canada. The 

^ Maillard, Les Missions Micmaques, On the murder of Howe, 
Public Documents of Nova Scotia, 194, 196, 210; M€moires sur U 
Canada, 1749-1760, where it is said that Le Loutre was present at 
the deed ; La Valli^re, Journal, who says that some Acadians took 
part in it; DSpiches de La Jonquikre, who says "les aauvages de 
KAbM le Loutre I'ont tu^ par trahison ; *' and Prfitost au Ministre 
27 Octobre, 1760. 

1740-1764.] HARSHNESS OF LE LOUTRE. 126 

French began a fort on the hill of Beaus^jour, and 
the Acadians were required to work at it with no 
compensation but rations. They were thinly clad, 
some had neither shoes nor stockings, and winter was 
begun. They became so dejected that it was found 
absolutely necessary to give them wages enough to 
supply their most pressing needs. In the following 
season Fort Beaus^jour was in a state to receive a 
garrison. It stood on the crown of the hill, and a 
vast panorama stretched below and aroimd it. In 
front lay the Bay of Chignecto, winding along the 
fertile shores of Chipody and Memeramcook. Far 
on the right spread the great Tantemar marsh; on 
the left lay the marsh of the Missaguash; and on a 
knoll beyond it, not three miles distant, the red flag 
of England waved over the palisades of Fort 
Lawrence, while hills wrapped in dark forests 
bounded the horizon. 

How the homeless Acadians from Beaubassin lived 
through the winter is not very clear. They probably 
found shelter at Chipody and its neighborhood, 
where there were thriving settlements of their 
countrymen. Le Loutre, fearing that they would 
return to their lands and submit to the English, sent 
some of them to Isle St. Jean. "They refused to 
go,'' says a French writer; "but he compelled them 
at last, by threatening to make the Indians pillage 
them, carry ofE their wives and children, and even 
kill them before their eyes. Nevertheless he kept 
about him such as were most submissive to his 

126 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1754 

will/'^ In the spring after the English occupied 
Beaubassin, La Jonquidre issued a strange proclama- 
tion. It commanded all Acadians to take forthwith 
an oath of fidelity to the King of France, and to 
enroll themselves in the French militia, on pain of 
being treated as rebels.^ Three years after, Law- 
rence, who then governed the province, proclaimed 
in his turn that all Acadians who had at any time 
sworn fidelity to the King of England, and who 
should be found in arms against him, would be 
treated as criminals.^ Thus were these unfortunates 
ground between the upper and nether mill-stones. 
Le Loutre replied to this proclamation of Lawrence 
by a letter in which he outdid himself. He declared 
that any of the inhabitants who had crossed to the 
French side of the line, and who should presume to 
return to the English, would be treated as enemies 
by his Micmacs ; and in the name of these, his Indian 
adherents, he demanded that the entire eastern half 
of the Acadian peninsula, including the ground on 
which Fort Lawrence stood, should be at once made 
over to their sole use and sovereign ownership,* — 
"which being read and considered," says the wcord 
of the Halifax Council, ^^the contents appeared too 
insolent and absurd to be answered.'* 

1 MimoireB sur U Canada, 1749-1760. 
' Ordonnance du 12 Avril, 1761. 

* jScrit donni aux Habitants r€fugi€8 h. Beaus^jour, 10 AoAt, 1764. 

* Copie de la Lettre d€ M. VAhh^ Le Loutre, Pretre Missionnaire 
de$ Sauvages de VAccadie, a M. Lawrence a Halifax, 2& AotU, 1754. 
There if a translation in Public Documents of Nova Scotia, 

1749-1754.] COMPLAINTS OF ACADIANS. 127 

The number of Acadians who had crossed the line 
and were collected about Beaus^jour was now large. 
Their countrymen of Chipody began to find them a 
burden, and they lived chiefly on government rations. 
Le Loutre had obtained fifty thousand livres from 
the court in order to dike in, for their use, the fertile 
marshes of Memeramcook; but the relief was distant, 
and the misery pressing. They complained that they 
had been lured over the line by false assuittnces, and 
ihey applied secretly to the English authorities to 
learn if they would be allowed to return to their 
homes. The answer was that they might do so with 
full enjoyment of religion and property, if they 
would take a simple oath of fidelity and loyalty to 
the King of Great Britain, qualified by an oral inti- 
mation that they would not be required for the 
present to bear arms.^ When Le Loutre heard this, 
he mounted the pulpit, broke into fierce invectives, 
threatened the terrified people with excommunica- 
tion, and preached himself into a state of exhaustion.' 
The military commandant at Beaus^jour used gentler 
means of prevention; and the Acadians, unused for 
generations to think or act for themselves, remained 
restless, but indecisive, waiting till fate should settle 
for them the question, under which king? 

Meanwhile, for the past three years, the commis- 
sioners appointed under the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle 

1 PMie Documents of Nova Scotia, 205, 209. 
* Compare Mimoires, 1749-1760, and Public Documents of Nova 
Scotia, 229, 230. 

128 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1764. 

to settle the question of boundaries between France 
and England in America had been in session at Paris, 
waging interminable war on paper; La Galissonidre 
and Silhouette for France, Shirley and Mildmay for 
England. By the treaty of Utrecht, Acadia belonged 
to England; but what was Acadia? According to 
the English commissioners, it comprised not only the 
peninsula now called Nova Scotia, but all the im- 
mense tract of land between the river St. Lawrence 
on the north, the gulf of the same name on the east, 
the Atlantic on the south, and New England on the 
west.^ The French commissioners, on their part, 
maintained that the name Acadia belonged of right 
only to about a twentieth part of this territory, and 
that it did not even cover the whole of the Acadian 
peninsula, but only its southern coast, with an 
adjoining belt of barren wilderness.. When the 
French owned Acadia, they gave it boundaries as 
comprehensive as those claimed for it by the English 
commissioners ; now that it belonged to a rival, they 
cut it down to a paring of its former self. The 
denial that Acadia included the whole peninsula was 
dictated by the need of a winter communication 
between Quebec and Cape Breton, which was pos- 
sible only with the eastern portions in French hands. 
So new was this denial that even La Galissonidre 

1 The commiMion of De Monts, in 1608, defines Acadia as ex- 
tending from the fortieth to the forty-sixth degrees of latitude, — 
that is, from central New Brunswick to southern Pennijlyania. 
Neither party cared to produce the document. 


hiniflelf, tihe foremost in making it, had declared 
witihont reservation two years before that Acadia was 
Hie entire peninsula.^ "If," says a writer on the 
question, " we had to do with a nation more tractable, 
less grasping, and more conciliatory, it would be 
well to insist also that Halifax should be given up to 
us." He thinks that, on the whole, it would be well 
to make the demand in any case, in order to gain 
some other point by yielding this one.^ It is curious 
that while denying that the coimtry was Acadia, the 
French invariably called the inhabitants Acadians. 
Lmnmerable public documents, commissions, grants, 
treaties, edicts, signed by French kings and minis- 
ters, had recognized Acadia as extending over New 
Brunswick and a part of Maine. Four censuses of 
Acadia while it belonged to the French had recog- 
nized the mainland as included in it; and so do also 
the early French maps. Its prodigious shrinkage 
was simply the consequence of its possession by an 

Other questions of limits, more important and 
equally perilous, called loudly for solution. What 
line should separate Canada and her western depend- 
encies from the British colonies ? Various principles 
of demarcation were suggested, of which the most 
prominent on the French side was a geographical 

1 ''L'Acadie suiyant ses anciennes limites est la presquisle 
born^ par son isthme." La Galissonnih'e au Mintstref 25 Juillet, 
1749. The English commissioners were, of course, ignorant of 
thif admiasion. 

« Mimoire de VAhb^de VIsU-Dieu, 1763 (1764 ?). 

VOL. I. — 9 

180 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1754 

one. AU countries watered by streams falling into 
the St Lawrence, the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi 
were to belong to her. This would have planted her 
in the heart of New York and along the crests of the 
Alleghanies, giving her all the interior of the conti- 
nent, and leaving nothing to England but a strip of 
sea-coast. Yet in view of what France had achieved; 
of the patient gallantry of her explorers, the zeal of 
her missionaries, the adventurous hardihood of her 
bushrangers, revealing to civilized mankind the 
existence of this wilderness world, whUe her rivals 
plodded at their workshops, their farms, or their 
fisheries, — in view of all this, her pretensions were 
moderate and reasonable compared with those of 
England. The treaty of Utrecht had declared the 
Iroquois, or Five Nations, to be British subjects; 
therefore it was insisted that all countries conquered 
by them belonged to the British Crown. But what 
was an Lroquois conquest? The Iroquois rarely 
occupied the countries they overran. Their military 
expeditions were mere raids, great or small. Some- 
times, as in the case of the Hurons, they made a soli- 
tude and called it peace ; again, as in the case of the 
Illinois, they drove off the occupants of the soil, who 
returned after the invaders were gone. But the 
range of their war-parties was prodigious; and the 
English laid claim to every mountain, forest, or 
prairie where an Iroquois had taken a scalp. This 
would give them not only the country between the 
Alleghanies and the Mississippi, but also that 

1749-1754.] FAILURE OF COMMISSION. 181 

between Lake Huron and the Ottawa, thus reducing 
Canada to the patch on the American map now 
represented by the province of Quebec, — or rather, 
fay a part of it, since the extension of Acadia to the 
St Lawrence would cut off the present counties of 
Gaspd, Rimouski, and Bonaventure. Indeed, among 
the advocates of British claims there were those who 
denied that France had any rights whatever on the 
south side of the St. Lawrence.^ Such being the 
attitude of the two contestants, it was plain that 
there was no resort but the last argument of kings. 
Peace must be won with the sword. 

The commissioners at Paris broke up their ses- 
sions, leaving as the monument of their toils four 
quarto volumes of allegations, arguments, and docu- 
mentary proofis.' Out of the discussion rose also a 
swarm of fugitive publications in French, English, 
and Spanish; for the question of American bounda- 

^ Hie extent of British claims is best shown on two maps of 
the time, Mitchell's Map of the British and French Dominions in 
Smik Awuriea and Huske's New and Accurate Map of North 
America ; both are in the British Museum. Dr. John MitcheU, in 
hit Coniesi in America (London, 1757), pushes the English claim to 
its utmost extreme, and denies that the French were rightful 
owners of anything in North America except the town of Quebec 
and the trading-post of Tadoussac. Besides the claim founded 
on the subjection of the Iroquois to the British Crown, the Eng- 
lish somewhat inconsistently advanced others founded on titles 
obtained by treaty from these same tribes, and others still, founded 
oo the original grants of some of the colonies, which ran indefi- 
nitely westward across the continent. 

* M^mmreM des Commissaires de Sa Majesty Trhs Chritienne et de 
onx de Sa MajtMt€ Brittanique, Paris, 1755. Several editions 

132 CONFLICT FOR ACADIA. [1749-1754. 

ries had become European. There was one among 
them worth notice from its amusing absurdity. It is 
an elaborate disquisition, under the title of Boman 
politique^ by an author faithful to the traditions of 
European diplomacy, and inspired at the same time 
by the new philosophy of the school of Rousseau. 
He insists that the balance of power must be pre- 
served in America as well as in Europe, because 
"Nature," "the aggrandizement of the human soul," 
and the "felicitj'^ of man" are unanimous in demand- 
ing it. The English colonies are more populous and 
wealthy than the French; therefore the French 
should have more land, to keep the balance. Nature, 
the human soul, and the felicity of man require that 
France should own all the country beyond the AUe- 
ghanies and all Acadia but a strip of the south coast, 
according to the "sublime negotiations" of the 
French commissioners, of which the writer declares 
himself a "religious admirer."^ 

We know already that France had used means 
sharper than negotiation to vindicate her claim to the 
interior of the continent; had marched to the sources 
of the Ohio to intrench herself there, and hold the 
passes of the West against all comers. It remains to 
see how she fared in her bold enterprise. 

^ Baman politique sur V£tat present des Affaires de VAm&ique 
(Amflterdam, 1766). For eztracta from French Docamente, set 
Appendix B. 


1763, 1754. 

Thb Frehoh ogoupt the Soubces of the Ohio : theib Suf- 
vsBiiros. — FoBT Le B<EnF. — Leoabdeub de Saint-Piebbb. — 
Mission of Washington. — Robebt Dinwiddie : he op^ 
POSES THE Fbench ; his Dispute with the Buboesses ; 
HIS Enbbgt ; HIS Appeals fob Help. — Fobt Duquesne. 
— Death of Jumonyille. — Washington at the Gbeat 
Meadows. — Coulon de Villiebs. — Fobt Necessity. 

Towards the end of spring the vanguard of the 
expedition sent by Duquesne to occupy the Ohio 
landed at Presqu'isle, where Erie now stands. This 
route to the Ohio, far better than that which C^loron 
had followed, was a new discovery to the French; 
and Duquesne calls the harbor ^^the finest in nature." 
Here they built a fort of squared chestnut logs, and 
when it was finished they cut a road of several 
leagues through the woods to Rividre aux Boeufs, 
now French Creek. At the farther end of this road 
they began another wooden fort and called it Fort Le 
Bceuf. Thence, when the water was high, they 
could descend French Creek to the Alleghany, and 
follow that stream to the main current of the Ohio. 

184 WASHINGTON. [1753. 

It was heavy work to cany the cumbrous load of 
baggage across the portages. Much of it is said to 
have been superfluous, consisting of velvets, silks, 
and other useless and costly articles, sold to the King 
at enormous prices as necessaries of the expedition.^ 
The weight of the task fell on the Canadians, who 
worked with cheerful hardihood, and did their part 
to admiration. Marin, commander of the expedition, 
a gruff, choleric old man of sixty-three, but full of 
force and capacity, spared himself so little that he 
was struck down with dysentery, and, refusing to be 
sent home to Montreal, was before long in a dying 
state. His place was taken by Pdan, of whose 
private character there is little good to be said, but 
whose conduct as an officer was such that Duquesne 
calls him a prodigy of talents, resources, and zeal.* 
The subalterns deserve no such praise. They dis- 
liked the service, and made no secret of their discon- 
tent. Rumors of it filled Montreal; and Duquesne 
wrote to Marin: "I am surprised that you have not 
told me of this change. Take note of the sullen and 
discouraged faces about you. This sort are worse 
than useless. Rid yourself of them at once; send 
them to Montreal, that I may make an example of 
them."* Pdan wrote at the end of September that 
Marin was in extremity; and the governor, disturbed 

^ Ponchoty Mhnoires sur la demikre Guerre de PAm^que Septeth 
trioneUe, i. 8. 

' Duquesne au Ministre, 2 Novembre, 1753 ; compare MSmoire pour 
Michel-Jean Hugues Pian. 

• Duquesne h Marin, 27 Aok, 1753. 


ftnd alarmed, for he knew the value of the sturdy old 
officer, looked anxiously for a successor. He chose 
another veteran, Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, who had 
just returned from a journey of exploration towards 
the Rocky Mountains,^ and whom Duquesne now 
ordered to the Ohio. 

Meanwhile the effects of the expedition had already 
justified it. At first the Indians of the Ohio had 
shown a bold front. One of them, a chief whom the 
English called the Half-King, came to Fort Le Boeuf 
and ordered the French to leave the country, but 
was received by Marin with such contemptuous 
haughtiness that he went home shedding tears of 
rage and mortification. The western tribes were 
daunted. The Miamis, but yesterday fast friends of 
the English, made humble submission to the French, 
and offered them two English scalps to signalize their 
repentance; while the Sacs, Pottawattamies, and 
Ojibwas were loud in professions of devotion.^ Even 
the Iroquois, Delawares, and Shawanoes on the Alle- 
ghany had come to the French camp and offered their 
help in carrying the baggage. It needed but perse- 
verance and success in the enterprise to win over 
every tribe from the mountains to the Mississippi. 
To accomplish this and to curb the English, Duquesne 
had planned a third fort, at the junction of French 

^ Memoire au Journal sommaire du Voyage de Jacquee Legardeur de 

* RapporU de ConeeUs avee les Sauvages h Montreal, Juillet, 1753. 
Duquetne an Ministre, 81 Octobre, 1753. Letter of Dr. Shuckburgh Id 
AT. Y. Col. Does,, vL 806. 

186 WASHINGTON. [176a 

Creek with the Alleghany, or at some point lower 
down; then, leaving the three posts well garrisoned, 
Pdan was to descend the Ohio with the whole remain- 
ing force, impose terror on the wavering tribes, and 
complete their conversion. Both plans were thwarted ; 
the fort was not built, nor did P^an descend the 
Ohio. Fevers, lung diseases, and scurvy made such 
deadly havoc among troops and Canadians that the 
dying Marin saw with bitterness that his work must 
be left half done. Three hundred of the best men 
were kept to garrison Forts Presqu'isle and Le BoBuf ; 
and then, as winter approached, the rest were sent 
back to Montreal. When they arrived, the gov- 
ernor was shocked at their altered looks. ^^I 
reviewed them, and could not help being touched 
by the pitiable state to which fatigues and expos- 
ures had reduced them. Past all doubt, if these 
emaciated figures had gone down the Ohio as in- 
tended, the river would have been strewn with 
corpses, and the evil-disposed savages would not have 
failed to attack the survivors, seeing that they were 
but spectres."^ 

Legardeur de Saint-Pierre arrived at the end of 
autumn, and made his quarters at Fort Le Bceuf. 
The surroimding forests had dropped their leaves, 
and in gray and patient desolation bided the coming 
winter. Chill rains drizzled over the gloomy "clear- 

^ Duquesne au Mtnistret 29 Novembref 1763. On this expedition, 
compare the letter of Duquesne in N. Y. Col. Docs., z. 265, and the 
deposition of Stephen Coffen, IbiJ., vi. 835. 

176S.] FORT LE BCEUF. 187 

ing/' and drenched the palisades and log-built bar- 
neks, raw from the axe. Buried in the wilderness, 
Hie militaiy exiles resigned themselves as they might 
to months of monotonous solitude ; when, just after 
sunset on the eleventh of December, a tall youth 
came out of the forest on horseback, attended by a 
companion much older and rougher than himself, 
and followed by several Indians and four or five 
white men with pack-horses. Officers from the 
fort went out to meet the strangers; and, wading 
through mud and sodden snow, they entered at the 
gate. On the next day the young leader of the 
party, with the help of an interpreter, for he spoke 
no French, had an interview with the commandant, 
and gave him a letter from Governor Dinwiddie. 
Saint-Pierre and the officer next in rank, who knew 
a little English, took it to another room to study 
it at their ease; and in it, all unconsciously, they 
read a name destined to stand one of the noblest 
in the annals of mankind; for it introduced Major 
George Washington, Adjutant-General of the Vir- 
ginia militia.^ 

Dinwiddle, jealously watchful of French aggres- 
sion, bad learned through traders and Indians that a 
strong detachment from Canada had entered the 
territories of the King of England, and built forts on 
Lake Erie and on a branch of the Ohio. He wrote 
to challenge the invasion and summon the invaders 
to withdraw; and he could find none so fit to bear 

^ Jcwmal of Major Washington. Journal of Mr, Christopher Gist 

188 WASHINGTON. [1763. 

his message as a young man of twenty-one. It was 
this rough Scotchman who launched Washington on 
his illustrious career. 

Washington set out for the trading -station of the 
Ohio Company on Will's Creek ; and thence, at the 
middle of November, struck into the wilderness with 
Christopher Gist as a guide, Yanbraam, a Dutchman, 
as French interpreter, Davison, a trader, as Indian 
interpreter, and four woodsmen as servants. They 
went to the forks of the Ohio, and then down the 
river to Logstown, the Chiningu^ of Cdloron de 
Bienville. There Washington had various parleys 
with the Indians ; and thence, after vexatious delays, 
he continued his journey towards Fort Le Boeuf, 
accompanied by the friendly chief called the Half- 
King* and by three of his tribesmen. For several 
days they followed the traders' path, pelted with 
imceasing rain and snow, and came at last to the old 
Indian town of Venango, where French Creek enters 
the Alleghany. Here there was an English trading- 
house; but the French had seized it, raised their flag 
over it, and turned it into a military outpost.^ Jon- 
caire was in command, with two subalterns; and 
nothing could exceed their civility. They invited 
the strangers to supper; and, says Washington, ^Hhe 
wine, as they dosed themselves pretty plentifully 

1 Marin had sent sixty men in Aug^t to seize the house, which 
belonged to the trader Fraser. IMpeches de Duquesne, They car- 
ried off two men whom thej found here. Letter of Fraser in 
Colonial Records of Pa., t. ^9, 

ua] DEnnnDiES letteb. 1S9 

widi it» mxm buokfaed tbe vestxmmt wlikli at first 
a|ipeued in iheir eonTeisaiiom azmI gmxe a license to 
titnoT tiGDgiies to rexeal tikdr sentiments mon^ ineelj. 
Thej told me tlttt it vms tiieir absolnte design to 
tike posseasion of the Ohio. and. by G — ^ they 
would do it; for tliat although they were sensible the 
EngiiBh could laise two men for their one^ yet they 
knew their modons were too slow and dilatonr to 
prevent any undertaking of theirs.'''^ 

With all their ciTility, the Fiench officers did 
their best to entice away Washington's Indians ; and 
it was wi& extreme difficulty that he could peisuade 
them to go with him. Through marshes and swamps, 
forests choked with snow, and dit^Uv:hed with inces- 
sant rain, they toiled on for four days more, till the 
wooden walls of Fort Le Bceuf appeared at last, sur- 
rounded by fields studded thick with stumps, and 
half-encircled by the chill current of French Creek, 
along the banks of which lay more than two hundred 
canoes, ready to cany troops in the spring. Wash- 
ington describes Legardeur de Saint-Pierre as ^'an 
elderly gentleman with much the air of a soldier/* 
The letter sent him by Dinwiddle expressed astonish- 
ment that his troops should build forts upon lands 
"so notoriously known to be the property of the 
Crown of Great Britain." "I must desire you," 
continued the letter, "to acquaint me by whoHo 
authority and instructions you have lately marched 

^ Journal of Washington, as printed at WiUiamtburg, Juft af t«r 
his return. 

140 WASHINGTON. [1758. 

from Canada with an armed force, and invaded the 
King of Great Britain's territories. It becomes my 
duty to require your peaceable departure; and that 
you would forbear prosecuting a purpose so inter- 
ruptive of the harmony and good understanding 
which His Majesty is desirous to continue and culti- 
vate with the Most Christian King. I persuade 
m3rself you will receive and entertain Major Washing- 
ton with the candor and politeness natural to your 
nation ; and it will give me the greatest satisfaction 
if you return him with an answer suitable to my 
wishes for a very long and lasting peace between us." 
Saint-Pierre took three days to frame the answer. 
In it he said that he should send Dinwiddle's letter 
to the Marquis Duquesne and wait his orders ; and 
that meanwhile he should remain at his post, accord- 
ing to the commands of his general. ^^ I made it my 
particular care," so the letter closed, "to receive Mr. 
Washington with a distinction suitable to your dig- 
nity as well as his own quality and great merit. "^ 
No form of courtesy had, in fact, been wanting. 
"He appeared to be extremely complaisant," says 
Washington, " though he was exerting every artifice 
to set our Indians at variance with us. I saw that 
every stratagem was practised to win the Half-King 
to their interest." Neither gifts nor brandy were 
spared; and it was only by the utmost pains that 

1 " La Distinction qui convient k votre Dignitt^ k sa Quality et k 
ton grand M^rite." Copy of original letter tent bj Dinwiddle to 
Ooyemor Hamilton 

1754.] ON THE ALLEGHANY. 141 

Washington could prevent his red allies from staying 
at the fort, conquered by French blandishments. 

After leaving Venango on his return, he found the 
horses so weak that, to arrive the sooner, he left 
them and their drivers in charge of Vanbraam and 
pushed forward on foot, accompanied by Gist alone. 
E^h was wrapped to the throat in an Indian ^^ match^ 
coat," with a gun in his hand and a pack at his back. 
Passing an old Indian hamlet called Murdering 
Town, they had an adventure which threatened to 
make good the name. A French Indian, whom they 
met in the forest, fired at them, pretending that his 
gun had gone off by chance. They caught him, and 
Gist would have killed him ; but Washington inter- 
posed, and they let him go.^ Then, to escape pur- 
suit from his tribesmen, they walked aU night and all 
the next day. This brought them to the banks of 
the Alleghany. They hoped to have found it dead 
frozen; but it was all alive and turbulent, filled with 
ice sweeping down the current. They made a raft, 
shoved out into the stream, and were soon caught 
helplessly in the drifting ice. Washington, pushing 
hard with his setting-pole, was jerked into the freez- 
ing river, but caught a log of the raft, and dragged 
himself out. By no efforts could they reach the 
farther bank, or regain that which they had left; but 
they were driven against an island, where they 
landed, and left the raft to its fate. The night was 

^Journal of Mr, Christopher Gitt, in Mass. Hist, CcUL SrJ 

142 WASHINGTON. [1758. 

excessively cold, and Gist's feet and hands were 
badly frost-bitten. In the morning, the ice had set, 
and the river was a solid floor. They crossed it, and 
succeeded in reaching the house of the trader Fraser, 
on the Monongahela. It was the middle of January 
when Washington arrived at Williamsburg and made 
his report to Dinwiddle. 

Robert Dinwiddie was lieutenant-governor of 
Virginia, in place of the titular governor. Lord 
Albemarle, whose post was a sinecure. He had been 
clerk in a government oflBce in the West Indies; 
then surveyor of customs in the "Old Dominion," 
— a position in which he made himself cordially dis- 
liked; and when he rose to the governorship he 
carried his unpopularity with him. Yet Virginia 
and all the British colonies owed him much; for, 
though past sixty, he was the most watchful sentinel 
against French aggression and its most strenuous 
opponent. Scarcely had Marin's vanguard appeared 
at Presqu'isle, when Dinwiddie warned the home 
government of the danger, and urged, what he had 
before uiged in vain on the Virginian Assembly, the 
immediate buUding of forts on the Ohio. There 
came in reply a letter, signed by the King, authoriz- 
ing him to build the forts at the cost of the colony, 
and to repel force by force in case he was molested 
or obstructed. Moreover, the King wrote: "If you 
shall find that any number of persons shall presume 
to erect any fort or forts within the limits of our 
province of Virginia, you are first to require of them 


peaceably to depart; and if, notwithstanding your 
admonitions, they do still endeavor to cany out any 
such unlawful and unjustifiable designs, we do hereby 
strictly charge and command you to drive them off 
by force of arms."* 

The order was easily given; but to obey it needed 
men and money, and for these Dinwiddle was 
dependent on his Assembly, or House of Burgesses. 
He convoked them for the first of Noveiaber, sending 
Washington at the same time with the summons to 
Saint-Pierre. The burgesses met. Dinwiddle ex- 
posed the danger, and asked for means to meet it.' 
They seemed more than willing to comply; but 
debates presently arose concerning the fee of a pistole, 
which the governor had demanded on each patent of 
land issued by him. The amount was trifling, but 
the principle was doubtful. The aristocratic republic 
of Virginia was intensely jealous of the slightest 
encroachment on its rights by the Crown or its repre- 
sentative. The governor defended the fee. The 
buigesses replied that ^^ subjects cannot be deprived 
of the least part of their property without their con- 
sent," declared, the fee unlawful, and called on Din- 
widdle to confess it to be so. He still defended it. 
They saw in his demand for supplies a means of 
bringing him to terms, and refused to grant money 
unless he would recede from his position. Dinwiddle 

^ InatrudioM to Our Trusty and WeU4>eloved Robert Dinwiddie, Esq,, 
28 Auffust, 1763. 

' Address of Lieutenant-Governor Dinwiddie to the Council and Bw^ 
gesses, 1 November, 1763. 

144 WASHINGTON. [1753. 

rebuked them for ^^disregarding the designs of the 
French, and disputing the rights of the Crown; '* and 
he "prorogued them in some anger." ^ 

Thus he was unable to obey the instructions of the 
King. As a temporary resource, he ventured to 
order a draft of two hundred men from the militia. 
Washington was to have command, with the trader, 
William Trent, as his lieutenant. His orders were 
to push with all speed to the forks of the Ohio, and 
there build a fort; "but in case any attempts are 
made to obstruct the works by any persons whatso- 
ever, to restrain all such offenders, and, in case of 
resistance, to make prisoners of, or kill and destroy 
them."* The governor next sent messengers to the 
Catawbas, Cherokees, Chickasaws, and Iroquois of 
the Ohio, inviting them to take up the hatchet against 
the French, "who, under pretence of embracing 
you, mean to squeeze you to death." Then he wrote 
urgent letters to the governors of Pennsylvania, the 
Carolinas, Maryland, and New Jersey, begging for 
contingents of men, to be at Will's Creek in March at 
the latest. But nothing could be done without 
money; and trusting for a change of heart on the 
part of the burgesses, he summoned them to meet 
again on the fourteenth of February. " If they come 
in good temper," he wrote to Lord Fairfax, a noble- 
man settled in the colony, " I hope they will lay a 
fund to qualify me to send four or five hundred men 

1 Dinwiddle Papers, 

* Ibid. Instructions to Major George Washington, January, 1764. 


more to the Ohio, which, with the assistance of our 
neighboring colonies, may make some figure." 

The session began. Again, somewhat oddly, yet 
forcibly, the governor set before the Assembly the 
peril of the situation, and begged them to postpone 
less pressing questions to the exigency of the hour.^ 
This time they listened, and voted ten thousand 
pounds in Virginia currency to defend the frontier. 
The grant was frugal, and they jealously placed its 
expenditure in the hands of a committee of their 
own.^ Dinwiddle, writing to the Lords of Trade, 
pleads necessity as his excuse for submitting to their 
terms. ^^I am sorry,*' he says, '^to find them too 
much in a republican way of thinking." What 
vexed him still more was their sending an agent to 
England to complain against him on the irrepressible 
question of the pistole fee; and he writes to his 
London friend, the merchant Hanbury: ^^I have had 
a great deal of trouble from the factious disputes and 
violent heats of a most impudent, troublesome party 
here in regard to that silly fee of a pistole. Surely 
every thinking man will make a distinction between 
a fee and a tax. Poor people! I pity their igno- 
rance and narrow, ill-natured spirits. But, my 
friend, consider that I could by no means give up 
this fee without affronting the Board of Trade and 
the Council here who established it." His thoughts 

1 Speech of Lieutenant-Governor Dinwiddle to the Council and Bur- 
gesset, 14 February, 1754. 

* See the biU in Hening, Statutes of Virginia, yL 417. 

VOL. I. — 10 

148 WASHINGTON. [1764. 

were not all of this harassing nature, and he ends his 
letter with the following petition : ^*' Now, sir, as His 
Majesty is pleased to make me a military officer, 
please send for Scott, my tailor, to make me a proper 
suit of regimentals, to be here by His Majesty's 
birthday. I do not much like gayety in dress, but I 
conceive this necessary. I do not much care for lace 
on the coat, but a neat embroidered button-hole; 
though you do not deal that way, I know you have a 
good taste, that I may show my friend's fancy in that 
suit of clothes ; a good laced hat and two pair stock- 
ings, one silk, the other fine thread." ^ 

If the governor and his English sometimes provoke 
a smile, he deserves admiration for the energy with 
which he opposed the public enemy, under circum- 
stances the most discouraging. He invited the 
Indians to meet him in council at Winchester, and, 
as bait to attract them, coupled the message with a 
promise of gifts. He sent circulars from the King 
to the neighboring governors, calling for supplies, 
and wrote letter upon letter to rouse them to effort 
He wrote also to the more distant governors, Delancey 
of New York, and Shirley of Massachusetts, begging 
them to make what he called a '^ faint" against 
Canada, to prevent the French from sending so large 
a force to the Ohio. It was to the neai'er colonies, 
from New Jersey to South Carolina, that he looked 
for direct aid; and their several governors were all 
more or less active to procure it; but as most of them 

1 Dinwiddle to Banbury, 12 March, 1754 ; Ibid., 10 May, 1764. 


had some standing dispute with their assemblies, 
they could get nothing except on terms with which 
they would not, and sometimes could not, comply. 
As the lands invaded by the French belonged to one 
of the two rival claimants, Virginia and Pennsyl- 
vania, the other colonies had no mind to vote money 
to defend them. Pennsylvania herself refused to 
move. Hamilton, her governor, could do nothing 
against the placid obstinacy of the Quaker non- 
combatants and the stolid obstinacy of the German 
farmers who chiefly made up his Assembly. North 
Carolina alone answered the appeal, and gave money 
enough to raise three or four hundred men. Two 
independent companies maintained by the King in 
New York, and one in South Carolina, had received 
orders from England to march to the scene of action; 
and in these, with the scanty levies of his own and 
the adjacent province, lay Dinwiddle's only hope. 
With men abundant and willing, there were no 
means to put them into the field, and no commander 
whom they would all obey. 

From the brick house at Williamsburg pompously 
called the Governor's Palace, Dinwiddle despatched 
letters, orders, couriers, to hasten the tardy rein- 
forcements of North Carolina and New York, and 
push on the raw soldiers of the Old Dominion, who 
now numbered three hundi'ed men. They were 
caUed the Virginia regiment; and Joshua Fry, an 
English gentleman, bred at Oxford, was made their 
colonel, with Washington as next in command. 

148 WASHINGTON. [1754. 

Fry was at Alexandria with half the so-called regi- 
ment^ trying to get it into marching order; Washing- 
ton, with the other half, had pushed forward to the 
Ohio Company's storehouse at Will's Creek, which 
was to form a base of operations. His men were 
poor whites, brave, but hard to discipline; without 
tents, ill armed, and ragged as Falstaff's recruits. 
Besides these, a band of backwoodsmen under Cap- 
tain Trent had crossed the mountains in February to 
build a fort at the forks of the Ohio, where Pittsburg 
now stands, — a spot which Washington had ex- 
amined when on his way to Fort Le Boeuf, and which 
he had reported as the best for the purpose. The 
hope was that Trent would fortify himself before the 
arrival of the French, and that Washington and Fry 
would join him in time to secure the position. Trent 
had begun the fort, but for some unexplained reason 
had gone back to Will's Creek, leaving Ensign Ward 
with forty men at work upon it. Their labors were 
suddenly interrupted. On the seventeenth of April 
a swarm of bateaux and canoes came down the Alle- 
ghany, bringing, according to Ward, more than a 
thousand Frenchmen, though in reality not much 
above five hundred, who landed, planted cannon 
against the incipient stockade, and summoned the 
ensign to surrender, on pain of what might ensue. ^ 
He complied, and was allowed to depart with his 
men. Retracing his steps over the mountains, he 
reported his mishap to Washington ; while the French 

1 See the lummont in Precis du FaiU, 101. 


demolished his unfinished fort, began a much laiger 
and better one, and named it Fort Duquesne. 

They had acted with their usual promptness. 
Their governor, a practised soldier, knew the value 
of celerity, and had set his troops in motion with 
the first opening of spring. He had no refractory 
assembly to hamper him ; no lack of money, for the 
King supplied it; and all Canada must march at his 
bidding. Thus, while Dinwiddle was still toiling 
to muster his raw recruits, Duquesne 's lieutenant, 
Contrecoeur, successor of Saint-Pierre, had landed at 
Presqu'isle with a much greater force, in part regu- 
lars, and in part Canadians. 

Dinwiddle was deeply vexed when a message from 
Washington told him how his plans were blighted; 
and he spoke his mind to his friend Hanbuiy: ^^If 
our Assembly had voted the money in November 
which they did in February, it 's more than probable 
the fort would have been built and garrisoned before 
the French had approached; but these things cannot 
be done without money. As there was none in our 
treasury, I have advanced my own to forward the 
expedition; and if the independent companies from 
New York come soon, I am in hopes the eyes of the 
other colonies will be opened; and if they grant a 
proper supply of men, I hope we shall be able to 
dislodge the French or build a fort on that river. I 
congratulate you on the increase of your family. 
My wife and two girls join in our most sincere 
respects to good Mrs. Hanbury."^ 

1 Dinwiddle to Hanbury, 10 May, 1764. 

160 WASHINGTON. [1764 

The seizure of a king's fort by planting canncm 
against it and threatening it with destruction was in 
his eyes a beginning of hostilities on the part of the 
French; and henceforth both he and Washington 
acted much as if war had been declared. From their 
station at Will's Creek, the distance by the traders' 
path to Fort Duquesne was about a hundred and 
forty miles. Midway was a branch of the Monon- 
gahela called Redstone Creek, at the mouth of which 
the Ohio Company had built another storehouse. 
Dinwiddle ordered all the forces to cross the moun- 
tains and assemble at this point, until they should be 
strong enough to advance against the French. The 
moyement was critical in presence of an enemy as 
superior in discipline as he was in numbers, while 
the natural obstacles were great. A road for cannon 
and wagons must be cut through a dense forest and 
orver two ranges of high mountains, besides countless 
hills and streams. Washington set all his force to 
the work, and they spent a fortnight in making 
twenty miles. Towards the end of May, however, 
Dinwiddle learned that he had crossed the main ridge 
of the AUeghanies, and was encamped with a hundred 
and fifty men near the parallel ridge of Laurel Hill, 
at a place called the Great Meadows. Trent's back- 
woodsmen had gone off in disgust; Fry, with the 
test of the regiment, was still far behind; and 
Washington was daily expecting an attack. Close 
upon this, a piece of good news, or what seemed 
such, came over the mountains and gladdened the 

1764.] A BLOW STRUCK. 161 

heart of the governor. He heard that a French 
detachment had tried to surprise Washington, and 
that he had killed or captured the whole. The facts 
were as follows. 

Washington was on the Youghiogany, a branch of 
the Monongahela, exploring it in hopes that it might 
prove navigable, when a messenger came to him from 
his old comrade, the Half-King, who was on the way 
to join him. The message was to the effect that the 
French had marched from their fort, and meant to 
attack the first English they should meet. A report 
came soon after that they were already at the ford of 
the Youghiogany, eighteen miles distant. Washing- 
ton at once repaired to the Great Meadows, a level 
tract of grass and bushes, bordered by wooded hills, 
and traversed in one part by a gully, which with a 
little labor the men turned into an intrenchment, at 
the same time cutting away the bushes and clearing 
what the young commander called '^ a charming field 
for an encounter.'' Parties were sent out to scour 
the woods, but they found no enemy. Two days 
passed; when, on the morning of the twenty-seventh, 
Christopher Gist, who had lately made a settlement 
on the farther side of Laurel Hill, twelve or thirteen 
miles distant, came to the camp with news that fifty 
Frenchmen had been at his house towards noon of 
the day before, and would have destroyed everything 
but for the intervention of two Indians whom he had 
left in charge during his absence. Washington sent 
seventy-five men to look for the party; but the 

152 WASHINGTON. [1764 

search was vain, the French having hidden them- 
selves so well as to escape any eye but that of an 
Indian. In the evening a runner came from the 
Half-King, who was encamped with a few warriors 
some miles distant. He had sent to tell Washington 
that he had found the tracks of two men, and traced 
them towards a dark glen in the forest, where in his 
belief all the French were lurking. 

Washington seems not to have hesitated a moment. 
Fearing a stratagem to surprise his camp, he left his 
main force to guard it, and at ten o'clock set out for 
the Half-King's wigwams at the head of forty men. 
The night was rainy, and the forest, to use his own 
words, "as black as pitch." "The path," he con- 
tinues, "was hardly wide enough for one man; we 
often lost it, and could not find it again for fifteen or 
twenty minutes, and we often tumbled over each 
other in the dark. " ^ Seven of his men were lost in 
the woods and left behind. The rest g^ped their 
way all night, and reached the Indian camp at sun* 
rise. A council was held with the Half-King, and 
he and his warriors agreed to join in striking the 
French. Two of them led the way. The tracks of 
the two French scouts seen the day before were again 
found, and, marching in single file, the party pushed 
through the forest into the rocky hollow where the 

1 Journal of Washington in PrScis des Faits, 100. This Journal, 
which is entirely distinct from that before cited, was found bj the 
French among the baggage left on the field after the defeat of 
Braddock in 1755, and a translation of it was printed by them as 
aboTe. The original has disappeared. 

1754.] JUMONVILLE. 168 

French were supposed to be concealed. They were 
there in fact; and they snatched their guns the 
moment they saw the English. Washington gave 
the word to fire. A short fight ensued. Coulon de 
Jumonville, an ensign in command, was killed, with 
nine others; twenty-two were captured, and none 
escaped but a Canadian who had fled at the beginning 
of the fray. After it was over, the prisoners told 
Washington that the party had been sent to bring 
him a summons from Contrecoeur, the commandant 
at Fort Duquesne. 

Five days before, Contrecoeur had sent Jumonville 
to scour the country as far as the dividing ridge of 
the Alleghanies. Under him were another officer, 
three cadets, a volunteer, an interpreter, and twenty- 
eight men. He was provided with a written sum- 
mons, to be delivered to any English he might find. 
It required them to withdraw from the domain of 
the King of France, and threatened compulsion by 
force of arms in case of refusal. But before deliver- 
ing the summons Jumonville was ordered to send 
two couriers back with all speed to Fort Duquesne 
to inform the commandant that he had found the 
English, and to acquaint him when he intended to 
communicate with them.^ It is difficult to imagine 
any object for such an order except that of enabling 
Contrecoeur to send to the spot whatever force might 
be needed to attack the EngUsh on their refusal to 

^ The summons and the instructions to Jumonrille are in Pribt 
des Faits. 

164 WASHINGTON. [1754. 

withdraw. Jumonville had sent the two coimeis, 
and had hidden himself, apparently to wait the 
result. He lurked nearly two days within five miles 
of Washington's camp, sent out scouts to reconnoitre 
it, but gave no notice of his presence; played to 
perfection the part of a skulking enemy, and brought 
destruction on himself by conduct which can only be 
ascribed to a sinister motive on the one hand, or to 
extreme foUy on the other. French deserters told 
Washington that the party came as spies, and were 
to show the summons only if threatened by a superior 
force. This last assertion is confirmed by the French 
officer Pouchot, who says that Jumonville, seeing 
himself the weaker party, tried to show the letter he 
had brought.^ 

French writers say that, on first seeing the English, 
Jumonville's interpreter called out that he had some- 
thing to say to them ; but Washington, who was at 
the head of his men, affirms this to be absolutely 
false. The French say further that Jumonville was 
killed in the act of reading the summons. This is 
also denied by Washington, and rests only on the 
assertion of the Canadian who ran off at the outset, 
and on the alleged assertion of Indians who, if 
present at all, which is unlikely, escaped like the 
Canadian before the fray began. Druillon, an officer 
with Jumonville, wrote two lettera to Dinwiddie 
after his capture, to claim the privileges of the 
bearer of a summons; but while bringing forward 

^ Pouchot, Mimoire sur la demiere Guerre 


eveiy other circumstance in favor of the claim, he 
does not pretend that the summons was read or shown 
either before or during the action. The French 
account of the conduct of Washington's Indians is no 
less erroneous. "This murder/' says a chronicler of 
the time, "produced on the minds of the savages an 
effect very different from that which the cruel 
Washington had promised himself. They have a 
horror of crime ; and they were so indignant at that 
which had just been perpetrated before their eyes, 
that they abandoned him, and offered themselves to 
us in order to take vengeance." ^ Instead of doing 
this, they boasted of their part in the fight, scalped 
all the dead Frenchmen, sent one scalp to the Dela- 
wares as an invitation to take up the hatchet for the 
English, and distributed the rest among the various 
Ohio tribes to the same end. 

Coolness of judgment, a profound sense of public 
duty, and a strong self-control, were even then the 
characteristics of Washington; but he was scarcely 
twenty-two, was full of military ardor, and was 
vehement and fiery by nature. Yet it is far from 
certain that, even when age and experience had 
ripened him, he would have forborne to act as he did, 
for there was every reason for believing that the 
designs of the French were hostile ; and though by 
passively waiting the event he would have thrown 
upon them the responsibility of striking the first 
blow, he would have exposed his small party to 

1 Poulin de Lumina, Histoire de la Guerre contre hi Angloit, 16. 

156 WASHINGTON. [1754 

capture or destruction by giving them time to gain 
reinforcements from Fort Duquesne. It was inevi- 
table that the killing of Jumonville should be greeted 
in France by an outcry of real or assumed horror; 
but the Chevalier de L^vis, second in command to 
Montcalm, probably expresses the true opinion of 
Frenchmen best fitted to judge when he calls it ^^ a 
pretended assassination." ^ Judge it as we may, this 
obscure skirmish began the war that set the world 
on fire.' 

Washington returned to the camp at the Great 
Meadows; and, expecting soon to be attacked, sent 
for reinforcements to Colonel Fry, who was lying 
dangerously ill at Will's Creek. Then he set his 
men to work at an intrenchment, which he named 
Fort Necessity, and which must have been of the 
slightest, as they finished it within three days.^ The 

1 L^vis, M€moirt sur la Guerre du Canada, 

s On this affair Sparks, WHtinga of Washington, ii. 26-48, 447 
Dinwiddle Papers, Letter of Contrecantr in Pricii dea Faits, Journal 
of Washington, Ibid. Washington to Dinwiddie, 3 June, 1754. Dus- 
sieuz, Le Canada sous la Domination Fran^ise, 118. Gasp^, Anciens 
Canadiens, Appendix, 396. Ttie assertion of AbM de I'Isle-Dieu, 
that JumonyiUe showed a flag of truce, is unsupported. Adam 
Stephen, who was in the fight, says that the guns of the English 
were so wet that they had to trust mainly to the bayonet. The 
Half King boasted that he killed Jumonville with his tomahawk. 
Dinwiddie highly approved Washington's conduct. 

In 1756 the widow of Jumonville received a pension of one hun- 
dred and fifty francs. In 1775, his daughter, Charlotte Aimable, 
wishing to become a nun, was given by the King six hundred francs 
for her " trousseau " on entering the convent. Dossier de Jumon- 
viUe et de sa Veuve, 22 Mars, 1766. Mimoire pour Mile, de JumonviUe^ 
10 JuiUet, 1776. Rfpmu du Garde des Sceaux, 26 Juillet, 1775. 

• Journal of Washington in PrScis des Faits. 

1764.] THE GREAT MEADOWS. 157 

Half-King now joined him, along with the female 
potentate known as Queen Alequippa, and some 
thirty Indian families. A few days after, Gist came 
from Will's Creek with news that Fry was dead. 
Washington succeeded to the command of the regi- 
ment, the remaining three companies of which pres- 
ently appeared and joined their comrades, raising the 
whole numher to three hundred. Next arrived the 
independent company from South Carolina; and 
the Great Meadows became an animated scene, with 
the wigwams of the Indians, the camp-sheds of the 
rough Virginians, the cattle grazing on the tall 
grass or drinking at the lazy brook that traversed 
it; the surrounding heights and forests; and over 
all, four miles away, the lofty green ridge of Laurel 

The presence of the company of regulars was a 
doubtful advantage. Captain Mackay, its com- 
mander, holding his commission from the King, 
thought himself above any officer commissioned by 
the governor. There was great courtesy between 
him and Washington; but Mackay would take no 
orders, nor even the countersign, from the colonel of 
volunteers. Nor would his men work, except for an 
additional shilUng a day. To give this was impos. 
sible, both from want of money, and from the discon- 
tent it would have bred in the Virginians, who 
worked for nothing besides their daily pay of eight- 
pence. Washington, already a leader of men, pos* 
pessed himself in a patience extremely difficult to 

158 WASHINGTON. [1764 

his passionate temper; but the position was untenable, 
and the presence of the military drones demoralized 
his soldiers. Therefore, leaving Mackay at the 
Meadows, he advanced towards Gist's settlement, 
cutting a wagon road as he went. 

On reaching the settlement the camp was formed 
and an intrenchment thrown up. Deserters had 
brought news that strong reinforcements were ex- 
pected at Fort Duquesne, and friendly Indians 
repeatedly warned Washington that he would soon 
be attacked by overwhelming numbers. Forty 
Indians from the Ohio came to the camp, and several 
days were spent in councils with them; but they 
proved for the most part to be spies of the French. 
The Half-King stood fast by the English, and sent 
out three of his young warriors as scouts. Reports 
of attack thickened. Mackay and his men were sent 
for, and they arrived on the twenty-eighth of June. 
A council of war was held at Gist's house; and as 
the camp was commanded by neighboring heights, it 
was resolved to fall back. The horses were so few 
that the Virginians had to carry much of the baggage 
on their backs, and drag nine swivels over the broken 
and rocky road. The regulars, though they also 
were raised in the provinces, refused to give the 
slightest help. Toiling on for two days, they reached 
the Great Meadows on the first of July. The posi- 
tion, though perhaps the best in the neighborhood, 
was very unfavorable, and Washington would have 
retreated farther, but for the condition of his men. 


They were spent with fatigue, and there was no 
choice but to stay and fight. 

Strong reinforcements had been sent to Fort 
Duquesne in the spring, and the garrison now con- 
sisted of about fourteen hundred men. When news 
of the death of Jumonville reached Montreal, Coulon 
de Villiers, brother of the slain officer, was sent to 
the spot with a body of Indians from all the tribes in 
the colony. He made such speed that at eight 
o'clock on the morning of the twenty-sixth of June 
he reached the fort with his motley following. Here 
he found that five hundred Frenchmen and a few 
Ohio Indians were on the point of marching against 
the English, under Chevalier Le Mercier; but in 
view of his seniority in rank and his relationship to 
Jumonville, the command was now transferred to 
Villiers. Hereupon, the march was postponed; the 
newly-arrived warriors were called to council, and 
Contrecoeur thus haransnied them: ^'The English 
have murdered my chUd^n; my heart Ib sick! to- 
morrow I shall send my French soldiers to take 
revenge. And now, men of the Saut St. Louis, men 
of the Lake of Two Mountains, Hurons, Abenakis, 
Iroquois of La Presentation, Nipissings, Algonquins, 
and Ottawas, — I invite you all by this belt of wam- 
pum to join your French father and help him to 
crush the assassins. Take this hatchet, and with it 
two barrels of wine for a feast." Both hatchet and 
wine were cheerfully accepted. Then Contrecoeur 
turned to the Delawares, who were also present: 

160 WASHINGTON. [1764. 

** By these four strings of wampum I invite you, if 
you are true children of Onontio, to follow the 
example of your brethren; " and with some hesitation 
they also took up the hatchet. 

The next day was spent by the Indians in making 
moccasons for the march, and by the French in pre- 
paring for an expedition on a larger scale than had 
been at first intended. Contrecoeur, Villiers, Le 
Mercier, and Longueuil, after deliberating together, 
drew up a paper to the effect that ^^ it was fitting 
(convenahle) to march against the English with the 
greatest possible number of French and savages, in 
order to avenge ourselves and chastise them for 
having violated the most sacred laws of civilized 
nations;" that, though their conduct justified the 
French in disregarding the existing treaty of peace, 
yet, after thoroughly punishing them, and compelling 
them to withdraw from the domain of the King, they 
should be told that, in pursuance of his royal orders, 
the French looked on them as friends. But it was 
further agreed that should the English have with- 
drawn to their own side of the mountains, "they 
should be followed to their settlements to destroy 
them and treat them as enemies, till that nation 
should give ample satisfaction and completely change 
its conduct." ^ 

1 Journal de Campagne de M, de VUliers depuis son Arrivh au 
Fort Duquetne ju$qt^h son Retour au dit Fort, These and other pas- 
sages are omitted in the Journal as printed in Pr€ci» des Faitt, 
Before me is a copj from the original in the Archives de la 

1764.] MARCH OF VILLIERS. 161 

The party set out on the next morning, paddled 
their canoes up the Monongahela, encamped, heard 
mass; and on the thirtieth reached the deserted store- 
house of the Ohio Company at the mouth of Redstone 
Creek. It was a building of solid logs, well loop- 
holed for musketry. To please the Indians by 
asking their advice, Villiers called all the chiefs to 
council; which being concluded to their satisfaction, 
he left a sergeant's guard at the storehouse to watch 
the canoes, and began his march through the forest. 
The path was so rough that at the first halt the chap- 
lain declared he could go no farther, and turned 
back for the storehouse, though not till he had 
absolved the whole company in a body. Thus light- 
ened of their sins, they journeyed on, constantly 
sending out scouts. On the second of July they 
reached the abandoned camp of Washington at Gist's 
settlement; and here they bivouacked, tired, and 
drenched all night by rain. At daybreak they 
marched again, and passed through the gorge of 
Laurel Hill. It rained without ceasing; but Villiers 
pushed his way through the dripping forest to see 
the place, half a mile from the road, where his 
brother had been killed, and where several bodies 
still lay unburied. They had learned from a deserter 
the position of the enemy, and Villiers filled the 
woods in front with a swarm of Indian scouts. The 
crisis was near. He formed his men in column, and 
ordered every officer to his place. 

Washington's men had had a full day at Fort 

VOL. I. — u 

162 WASHINGTON. [1751 

Necessity; but they spent it less in resting from their 
fatigue than in strengthening their rampart with 
logs. The fort was a simple square enclosure, with 
a trench said by a French writer to be only knee 
deep. On the south, and partly on the west, there 
was an exterior embankment, which seems to have 
been made, like a rifle-pit, with the ditch inside. 
The Virginians had but Uttle ammunition, and no 
bread whatever, living chiefly on fresh beef. They 
knew the approach of the French, who were reported 
to Washington as nine hundred strong, besides 
Indians. Towards eleven o'clock a wounded sentinel 
came in with news that they were close at hand ; and 
they presently appeared at the edge of the woods, 
yelling, and firing from such a distance that their 
shot fell harmless. Washington drew up his men 
on the meadow before the fort, thinking, he says, 
that the enemy, being greatly superior in force, would 
attack at once; and choosing for some reason to meet 
them on the open plain. But Villiers had other 
views. " We approached the English," he writes, " as 
near as possible, without uselessly exposing the lives 
of the King's subjects;" and he and his followers 
made their way through the forest till they came 
opposite the fort, where they stationed themselves on 
two densely wooded hills, adjacent, though sepa- 
rated by a small brook. One of these was about a 
hundred paces from the English, and the other about 
sixty. Their position was such that the French and 
Indians, well sheltered by trees and bushes, and with 

1764.] FORT NECESSITY. 163 

the advantage of higher ground, could cross their 
fire upon the fort and enfilade a part of it. Wash- 
ington had meanwhile drawn his followers within the 
intrenchment; and the firing now began on both 
sides. Rain fell all day. The raw earth of the 
embankment was turned to soft mud, and the men in 
the ditch of the outwork stood to the knee in water. 
The swivels brought back from the camp at Gist's 
farm were mounted on the rampart; but the gunners 
were so ill protected that the pieces were almost 
silenced by the French musketry. The fight lasted 
nine hours. At times the fire on both sides was 
nearly quenched by the showers, and the bedrenched 
combatants could do little but gaze at each other 
through a gray veil of mist and rain. Towards 
night, however, the fusillade revived, and became 
sharp again until dark. At eight o'clock the French 
called out to propose a parley. 

Villiers thus gives his reasons for these overtures. 
" As we had been wet all day by the rain, as the 
soldiers were very tired, as the savages said that they 
would leave us the next morning, and as there was 
a report that drums and the firing of cannon had 
been heard in the distance, I proposed to M. Le 
Mercier to offer the English a conference." He says 
fiirther that ammunition was falling short, and that 
he thought the enemy might sally in a body and 
attack him.i The English, on their side, were in a 

1 Journal de Villiers, original. Omitted in the Journal as printed 
by the French goremment. A short and very incorrect abstract 
of this Journal will be found in N, Y. Col, Docs., z. 

164 WASHINGTON. [1754. 

worse plight. They were half starved, their powder 
was nearly spent, their guns were foul, and among 
them all they had but two screw-rods to clean them. 
In spite of his desperate position, Washington 
declined the parley, thinking it a pretext to introduce 
a spy; but when the French repeated their proposal 
and requested that he would send an officer to them, 
he could hesitate no longer. There were but two 
men with him who knew French, Ensign Peyroney, 
who was disabled by a wound, and the Dutchman, 
CSaptain Yanbraam. To him the unpalatable errand 
was assigned. After a long absence he returned with 
articles of capitulation offered by Villiers ; and while 
the officers gathered about him in the rain, he read 
and interpreted the paper by the glimmer of a sput* 
tering candle kept alight with difficulty. Objection 
was made to some of the terms, and they were 
changed. Yanbraam, however, apparently anxious 
to get the capitulation signed and the affair ended, 
mistranslated several passages, and rendered the 
words Vassassinat du Sieur de JumonvUle as the death 
of the Sieur de JumonvUle.^ As thus understood, the 
articles were signed about midnight. They provided 
that the English should march out with drums beat- 
ing and the honors of war, canying with them one 
of their swivels and all their other property; that 

^ See Appendix C. On the fight at Great Meadows, compare 
Sparks, Writings of Washington, ii. 456-468 ; also a letter of Colonel 
Innes to Grovemor Hamilton, written a week after the event, in 
Colonial Records of Pa., vi. GO, and a letter of Adam Stephen, in 
Ptnnsjflvania Gazette, 1754. 

1764.] CAPITULATION. 166 

they should be protected against insult from French 
or Indians; that the prisoners taken in the affair of 
Jumonville should be set free; and that two officers 
should remain as hostages for their safe return to 
Fort Duquesne. The hostages chosen were Van- 
braam and a brave but eccentric Scotchman, Robert 
Stobo, an acquaintance of the novelist Smollett, said 
to be the original of his Lismahago. 

Washington reports that twelve of the Virginians 
were killed on the spot, and forty-three wounded, 
while of the casualties in Mackay's company no 
returns appear. Villiers reports his own loss at only 
twenty in all.^ The numbers engaged are uncertain. 
The six companies of the Virginia regiment counted 
three hundred and five men and officers, and Mackay's 
company one hundred; but many were on the sick 
Ust, and some had deserted. About three hundred 
and fifty may have taken part in the fight. On the 
side of the French, Villiers says that the detachment 
as originally formed consisted of five himdred white 
men. These were increased after his arrival at Fort 
Duquesne, and one of the party reports that seven 
hundred marched on the expedition.' The number 

1 Dinwiddle writes to the Lords of Trade that thirty In aU were 
kiUed, and seventy wounded, on the English side ; and the commis- 
sary Varin writes to Bigot that the French lost seventy-two kiUed 
and wonnded. 

* A Journal had from Thomas Forbes, latdy a Private Soldier in die 
King of France's Service, (Pablic Record Office.) Forbes was one 
of Villiers's soldiers. The commissary Varin puts the number of 
French at six hundred, besides Indians. 

166 WASHINGTON. [1754. 

of Indians joining them is not given; but as nine 
tribes and communities contributed to it, and as two 
barrels of wine were required to give the warriors a 
parting feast, it must have been considerable. White 
men and red, it seems clear that the French force 
was more than twice that of the English, while they 
were better posted and better sheltered, keeping all 
day under cover, and never showing themselves on 
the open meadow. There were no Indians with 
Washington. Even the Half-King held aloof; 
though, being of a caustic turn, he did not spare his 
comments on the fight, telling Conrad Weiser, the 
provincial interpreter, that the French behaved like 
cowards, and the English like fools.^ 

In the early morning the fort was abandoned and 
the retreat began. The Indians had killed all the 
horses and cattle, and Washington's men were so 
burdened with the sick and wounded, whom they 
were obliged to carry on their backs, that most of the 
baggage was perforce left behind. Even then they 
could march but a few miles, and then encamped to 
wait for wagons. The Indians increased the con- 
fusion by plundering, and threatening an attack. 
They knocked to pieces the medicine-chest, thus 

1 Journal of Conrad Weiser, in Colonial Records of Pa,, ri, 160. 
The Half-King also remarked that Washington " was a good- 
natured man, but had no experience, and would hy no means take 
advice from the Indians, but was always driving them on to fight 
hy his directions ; that he lay at one place from one f uU moon to 
the other, and made no fortifications at all, except that little thing 
upon the meadow, where he thought the French would come up to 
him in open field." 


causing great distress to the wounded, two of whom 
they murdered and scalped. For a time there was 
danger of panic; but order was restored, and the 
wretched march began along the forest road that led 
over the Alleghanies, fifty-two miles to the station 
at Will's Creek. Whatever may have been the feel- 
ings of Washington, he has left no record of them. 
His immense fortitude was doomed to severer trials 
in the future; yet perhaps this miserable morning 
was the darkest of his life. He was deeply moved 
by sights of suffering; and all around him were 
wounded men borne along in torture, and weary men 
staggering under the living load. His pride was 
humbled, and his yoimg ambition seemed blasted in 
the bud. It was the fourth of July. He could not 
foresee that he was to make that day forever glorious 
to a new-bom nation hailing him as its father. 

The defeat at Fort Necessity was doubly disastrous 
to the English, since it was a new step and a long 
one towards the ruin of their interest with the 
Indians; and when, in the next year, the smoulder- 
ing war broke into flame, nearly all the western tribes 
drew their scalping-knives for France. 

Villiers went back exultant to Fort Duquesne, 
burning on his way the buildings of Gist's settlement 
and the storehouse at Redstone Creek. Not an 
English flag now waved beyond the Alleghanies.^ 

^ See Appendix 0. 


1754, 1765. 


Tboublbs of Dinwiddie. — Gathering of the Bdboesses. — 
YiROiifiAir Society. — Refractory Legislators. — The Qua- 
ker Assembly : it refuses to resist the French. — Apathy 
OF New York. — Shirley and the General Court of 
Massachusetts. — Short-sighted Policy. — Attitude of 
Royal Governors. — Indian Allies waver. — Convention 
AT Albany. — Scheme of Union : it fails. — Dinwiddib 
AND Glen. — Dinwiddie calls on England for Help. — 
The Duke of Newcastle. — Weakness of the British 
Cabinet. — Attitude of France. — Mutual Dissimulation. 
— Both Powers send Troops to America. — Collision. — 
Capture of the "Alcide" and the "Lis." 

The defeat of Washington was a heavy blow to 
the governor, and he angrily ascribed it to the delay 
of the expected reinforcements. The King's com- 
panies from New York had reached Alexandria, and 
crawled towards the scene of action with thin ranks, 
bad discipline, thirty women and children, no tents, 
no blankets, no knapsacks, and for munitions one 
barrel of spoiled gunpowder.^ The case was still 
worse with the regiment from North Carolina. It 
was commanded by Colonel Innes, a countrjonan and 

1 Dinwiddie to the Lords of Trade, 24 Jtdy, 1754. Ibid, to Delancey 
90 June, 1764. 


friend of Dinwiddle, who wrote to him: ^Deoi 
James, I now wish that we had none from your 
colony but yourself, for I foresee nothing but con- 
fusion among them." The men were, in fact, utterly 
unmanageable. They had been promised three shil« 
lings a day, while the Virginians had only eightpence; 
and when they heard on the march that their pay was 
to be reduced, they mutinied, disbanded, and went 

"You may easily guess," says Dinwiddie to a 
London correspondent, "the great fatigue and trouble 
I have had, which is more than I ever went through 
in my life." He rested his hopes on the session of 
his Assembly, which was to take place in August; 
for he thought that the late disaster would move 
them to give him money for defending the colony. 
These meetings of the burgesses were the great social 
as well as political event of the Old Dominion, and 
gave a gathering signal to the Virginian gentry scat- 
tered far and wide on their lonely plantations. The 
capital of the province was Williamsburg, a village 
of about a thousand inhabitants, traversed by a 
straight and very wide street, and adorned with 
various public buildings, conspicuous among which 
was William and Mary College, a respectable struc- 
ture, imjustly likened by Jefferson to a brick kiln 
with a roof. The capitol, at the other end of the 
town, had been burned some years before, and had 
just risen from its ashes. Not far distant was the 
so-called Governor's Palace, where Dinwiddie with 


his wife and two daughteis exercised such official 
hospitality as his moderate salary and Scottish thrift 
would permit.^ 

In these seasons of festivity the dull and quiet 
village was transfigured. The broad, sandy street, 
scorching under a southern sun, was thronged with 
coaches and chariots brought over from London at 
heavy cost in tobacco, though soon to be bedimmed 
by Virginia roads and negro care ; racing and hard- 
drinking planters; clergymen of the Establishment, 
not much more ascetic than their boon companions 
of the laity; ladies, with manners a little rusted by 
long seclusion; black coachmen and footmen, proud 
of their masters and their liveries; young cavaliers, 
booted and spurred, sitting their thoroughbreds with 
the careless grace of men whose home was the saddle. 
It was a proud little provincial society, which might 
seem absurd in its lofty self-appreciation, had it not 
soon approved itself so prolific in ability and worth.^ 

The burgesses met, and Dinwiddle made them an 
opening speech, inveighing against the aggressions 
of the French, their "contempt of treaties," and 
"ambitious vievirs for universal monarchy;" and he 
concluded: "I could expatiate very largely on these 

1 For a contemporary account of Williamsburg, Bumabj, 
Traoels in North America, 6. Smyth, Tour in America, i. 17, de- 
scribes it some years later. 

^ The English trareller Smyth, in his Tour, gives a curious and 
Tirid picture of Virginian life. For the social condition of this 
and other colonies before the Revolution, one cannot do better 
than to consult Lodge's Short Hiitortf of the English Colonies, 


affairs, but my heart bums with resentment at their 
insolence. I think there is no room for many argu- 
ments to induce you to raise a considerable supply to 
enable me to defeat the designs of these troublesome 
people and enemies of mankind." The burgesses in 
their turn expressed the ^^ highest and most becoming 
resentment," and promptly voted twenty thousand 
pounds; but on the third reading of the bill they 
added to it a rider which touched the old question of 
the pistole fee, and which, in the view of the gov- 
ernor, was both unconstitutional and offensive. He 
remonstrated in vain; the stubborn republicans would 
not yield, nor would he; and again he prorogued 
them. This unexpected defeat depressed him greatly. 
*• A governor," he wrote, "is really to be pitied in the 
discharge of his duty to his king and country, in 
having to do with such obstinate, self-conceited 
people. ... I cannot satisfy the burgesses unless I 
prostitute the rules of government. I have gone 
through monstrous fatigues. Such wrong-headed 
people, I thank God, I never had to do with before." ^ 
A few weeks later he was comforted; for, having 
again called the burgesses, they gave him the money, 
without trying this time to humiUate him.a 

In straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel, 
aristocratic Virginia was far outdone by democratic 
Pennsylvania. Hamilton, her governor, had laid 

1 Dinwiddle to Hamilton, 6 September, 1754. Ibid, to J, Abercrom- 
bie, 1 September, 1754. 

2 Hening, vi. 435. 


before the Assembly a circular letter from the Eail 
of Holdemesse, directing him, in common with other 
governors, to call on his province for means to repel 
any invasion which might be made ^^ within the 
undoubted limits of His Majesty's dominion." ^ The 
Assembly of Pennsylvania was curiously unlike that 
of Virginia, as half and often more than half of its 
members were Quaker tradesmen in sober raiment 
and broad-brimmed hats; while of the rest, the 
greater part were Germans who cared little whether 
they lived under English inile or French, provided 
that they were left in peace upon their farms. The 
House replied to the governor's call: "It would be 
highly presumptuous in us to pretend to judge of the 
undoubted limits of His Majesty's dominions ; " and 
they added: "the Assemblies of this province are 
generally composed of a majority who are constitu- 
tionally principled against war, and represent a weU- 
meaning, peaceable people."' They then adjourned, 
telling the governor that, " As those our limits have 
not been clearly ascertained to our satisfaction, we 
fear the precipitate call upon us as the province 
invaded cannot answer any good purpose at this 

In the next month they met again, and again 
Hamilton asked for means to defend the country. 
The question was put, Should the Assembly give 

^ T*ke Earl o/Hoidernease to the Governors in America, 28 August, 

« Colonial Records of Pa., t. 748. 


money for the King^s use ? and the vote was feebly 
affirmative. Should the sum be twenty thousand 
pounds ? The vote was overwhelming in the nega- 
tive. Fifteen thousand, ten thousand, and five 
thousand were successively proposed, and the answer 
was always. No. The House would give nothing but 
five hundred pounds for a present to the Indians; 
after which they adjourned ^to the sixth of the 
month called May."^ At their next meeting they 
voted to give the governor ten thousand pounds; but 
under conditions which made them for some time 
independent of his veto, and which, in other respects, 
were contrary to his instructions from the King, as 
well as from the proprietaries of the province, to 
whom he had given bonds to secure his obedience. 
He therefore rejected the bill, and they adjourned. 
In August they passed a similar vote, with the same 
result At their October meeting they evaded his 
call for supplies. In December they voted twenty 
thousand pounds, hampered with conditions which 
were sure to be refused, since Morris, the new gov- 
ernor, who had lately succeeded Hamilton, was under 
the same restrictions as his predecessor. They told 
him, however, that in the present case they felt 
themselves bound by no Act of Parliament, and 
added: "We hope the Governor, notwithstanding 
any penal bond he may have entered into, will on 
reflection think himself at liberty and find it con- 

^ Pennsylvania Archive, ii. 236. Colonial Records of Pa., tL 22- 
26. Works of Franklin, iU. 206. 


sistent with his safety and honor to give his assent 
to this bill." Morris, who had taken the highest 
legal advice on the subject in England, declined to 
compromise himself, saying: ^^ Consider, gentlemen, 
in what light you will appear to His Majesty while, 
instead of contributing towards your own defence, 
you are entering into an ill-timed controversy con- 
cerning the validity of royal instructions which may 
be delayed to a more convenient time without the 
least injury to the rights of the people."^ They 
would not yield, and told him ^^ that they had rather 
the French should conquer them than give up their 
privileges. " * " Truly, " remarks Din widdie, " I think 
they have given their senses a long holiday." 

New York was not much behind her sisters in con- 
tentious stubbornness. In answer to the governor's 
appeal, the Assembly replied: ^^It appears that the 
French have built a fort at a place called French 
Creek, at a considerable distance from the River 
Ohio, which may, but does not by any evidence or 
information appear to us to be an invasion of any of 
His Majesty's colonies."* So blind were they as yet 
to "manifest destiny I'' Afterwards, however, on 
learning the defeat of Washington, they gave five 
thousand pounds to aid Virginia.^ Maryland, after 
long delay, gave six thousand. New Jersey felt 

* Colonial Records of Pa,, vi. 216. 

* Morris to Penn, 1 January, 1756. 

* Address of the Assembly to Lieutenant-Governor Delancey, 23 
April, 1764. Zorc/s of Trade to Delancey, 5 July, 1754. 

* Delancey to Lords of Trade, 8 October, 1754. 


herself safe behind the other colonies, and would 
give nothing. New England, on the other hand, and 
especially Massachusetts, had suffered so much from 
French war-parties that they were always ready to 
fight. Shirley, the governor of Massachusetts, had 
returned from his bootless errand to settle the boun- 
dary question at Paris. His leanings were strongly 
monarchical; yet he believed in the New Englanders, 
and was more or less in sympathy with them. Both 
he and they were strenuous against the French, and 
they had mutually helped each other to reap laurels 
in the last war. Shirley was cautious of giving 
umbrage to his Assembly, and rarely quarrelled with 
it, except when the amount of his salary was in 
question. He was not averse to a war with France; 
for though bred a lawyer, and now past middle life, 
he flattered himself with hopes of a high military 
command. On the present occasion, making use of 
a rumor that the French were seizing the carrying- 
place between the Chaudidre and the Kennebec, he 
drew from the Assembly a large grant of money, and 
induced them to call upon him to march in person to 
the scene of danger. He accordingly repaired to 
Falmouth (now Portland); and, though the rumor 
proved false, sent eight hundred men under Captain 
John Winslow to build two forts on the Kennebec 
as a measure of precaution.^ 

^ Mcusachusetts Archives, 1764. Hutchinson, iii. 26. Condit't 
of Major- General Shirley briefly stated. Journals of ths Board ^ 
Trade, 1754. 


While to these northern provinoes Canada was an 
old and pestilent enemy, those towards the south 
scarcely knew her by name ; and the idea of French 
aggression on their borders was so novel and strange 
that they admitted it with difficulty. Mind and 
heart were engrossed in strife with their governors: 
the universal struggle for virtual self-rule. But the 
war was often waged with a passionate stupidity. 
The colonist was not then an American; he was 
simply a provincial, and a narrow one. The time 
was yet distant when these dissevered and jealous 
communities should weld themselves into one broad 
nationality, capable, at need, of the mightiest efforts 
to purge itself of disaffection and vindicate its com- 
manding unity. 

In the interest of that practical independence which 
they had so much at heart, two conditions were 
essential to the colonists. The one was a field for 
expansion, and the other was mutual help. Their 
first necessity was to rid themselves of the French, 
who, by shutting them between the AUeghanies and 
the sea, would cramp them into perpetual littleness. 
With France on their backs, growing while they had 
no room to grow, they must remain in helpless ward- 
ship, dependent on England, whose aid they would 
always need; but with the West open before them, 
their future was their own. King and Parliament 
would respect perforce the will of a people spread 
from the ocean to the Mississippi, and united in 
action as in aims. But in the middle of the last 


centxuy the vision of the ordinary colonist rarely 
reached so far. The immediate victory over a gov- 
emor, however slight the point at issue, was more 
precious in his eyes than the remote though decisive 
advantage which he saw but dimly. 

The governors, representing the central power, 
saw the situation from the national point of view. 
Several of them, notably Dinwiddle and Shirley, were 
filled with wrath at the proceedings of the French ; 
and the former was exasperated beyond measure at 
the supineness of the provinces. He had spared no 
effort to rouse them, and had failed. His instincts 
were on the side of authority; but, under the cir- 
cumstances, it is hardly to be imputed to him as a 
very deep offence against human liberty that he 
advised the compelling of the colonies to raise men 
and money for their own defence, and proposed, 
in view of their " intolerable obstinacy and disobedi- 
ence to his Majesty's commands," that Parliament 
should tax them half-a-crown a head. The approach- 
ing war offered to the party of authority tempta- 
tions from which the colonies might have saved it 
by opening their purse-strings without waiting to be 

The home government, on its part, was but half- 
hearted in the wish that they should unite in oppo- 
sition to the common enemy. It was very willing 
that the several provinces should give money and 
men, but not that they should acquire military habits 
and a dangerous capacity of acting together. There 

VOL 1. — 12 


was one kind of union, however, bo obviously neces- 
sary, and at the same time so little to be dreaded, 
that the British Cabinet, instructed by the governors, 
not only assented to it, but urged it. This was joint 
action in making treaties with the Indians. The 
practice of separate treaties, made by each province in 
its own interest, had bred endless disorders. The 
adhesion of all the tribes had been so shaken, and the 
efforts of the French to alienate them were so vig- 
orous and effective, that not a moment was to be lost 
Joncaire had gained over most of the Senecas, Piquet 
was drawing the Onondagas more and more to his 
mission, and the Dutch of Albany were alienating 
their best friends, the Mohawks, by encroaching on 
their lands. Their chief, Hendrick, came to New 
York with a deputation of the tribe to complain of 
their wrongs; and finding no redress, went off in 
anger, declaring that the covenant chain was broken.' 
The authorities in alarm called William Johnson to 
their aid. He succeeded in soothing the exasperated 
chief, and then proceeded to the confederate council 
at Onondaga, where he found the assembled sachems 
full of anxieties and doubts. ^^ We don't know what 
you Christians, English and French, intend," said 
one of their orators. " We are so hemmed in by you 
both that we have hardly a hunting-place left. In a 
little while, if we find a bear in a tree, there will 
immediately appear an owner of the land to claim the 
property and hinder us from killing it, by which 

1 N. Y. Col, Docs,, Yi. 788. Colonial Records of Pa,, t. e26. 


we live. We are so perplexed between you that we 
hardly know what to say or think." ^ No man had 
such power over the Five Nations as Johnson. Hid 
dealings with them were at once honest, downright, 
and sympathetic. They loved and trusted him as 
much as they detested the Indian commissioners at 
Albany, whom the province of New York had charged 
with their affairs, and who, being traders, grossly 
abused their office. 

It was to remedy this perilous state of things that 
the Lords of Trade and Plantations directed the 
several governors to urge on their assemblies the 
sending of commissioners to make a joint treaty with 
the wavering tribes.' Seven of the provinces, New 
York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the four New 
England colonies, acceded to the plan, and sent to 
Albany, the appointed place of meeting, a body of 
men who for character and ability had never had an 
equal on the continent, but whose powers from their 
respective assemblies were so cautiously limited as 
to preclude decisive action. They met in the court- 
house of the little frontier city. A large ^^chain- 
belt " of wampum was provided, on which the King 
was symbolically represented, holding in his embrace 
the colonies, the Five Nations, and all their allied 
tribes. This was presented to the assembled war- 

» N. Y. Col. Docs,, Ti. 818. 

* Circular Letter of Lords of Trade to Governors in America, 18 
September, 1763. Lords of Trade to Sir Danvers Osborne, in N. Y. 
Col. Docs., vi. 800. 


riors, with a speech in which the tmsdeeds of the 
French were not forgotten. The chief, Hendrick, 
made a much better speech in reply. " We do now 
solenmly renew and brighten the covenant chain. 
We shall take the chain-belt to Onondaga, where 
our council-fire always bums, and keep it so safe 
that neither thunder nor lightning shall break it." 
The commissioners had blamed them for allowing so 
many of their people to be drawn away to Piquet's 
mission. ^^It is true/' said the orator, ^^that we live 
disunited. We have tried to bring back our brethren, 
but in vain; for the Governor of Canada is like a 
wicked, deluding spirit. You ask why we are so 
dispersed. The reason is that you have neglected us 
for these three years past" Here he took a stick 
and threw it behind him. " You have thus thrown 
us behind your back; whereas the French are a 
subtle and vigilant people, always using their utmost 
endeavors to seduce and bring us over to them." 
He then told them that it was not the French alone 
who invaded the country of the Indians. "The 
Governor of Virginia and the Governor of Canada 
are quarrelling about lands which belong to us, and 
their quarrel may end in our destruction." And he 
closed with a burst of sarcasm. "We would have 
taken Crown Point [in the last war]^ but you pre- 
vented us. Instead, you burned your own fort at 
Saratoga and ran away from it, — which was a shame 
and a scandal to you. Look about your country and 
see : you have no fortifications ; no, not even in this 

1764.] SCHEMES OF UNION. 181 

city. It is but a step from Canada hither, and the 
French may come and turn you out of doors. You 
desire us to speak from the bottom of our hearts, and 
we shall do it. Look at the French : they are men ; 
they are fortifying everywhere. But you are all like 
women, bare and open, without fortifications.'* ^ 

Hendrick's brother Abraham now took up the 
word, and begged that Johnson might be restored to 
the management of Indian affairs, which he had 
formerly held; "for," said the chief, "we love him 
and he us, and he has always been our good and 
trusty friend." The commissioners had not power 
to grant the request, but the Indians were assured 
that it should not be forgotten ; and they returned to 
their villages soothed, but far from satisfied. Nor 
were the commissioners empowered to take any 
effective steps for fortifying the frontier. 

The congress now occupied itself with another 
matter. Its members were agreed that great danger 
was impending; that without wise and just treat- 
ment of the tribes, the French would gain them all, 
build forts along the back of the British colonies, 
and, by means of ships and troops from France, 
master them one by one, unless they would combine 
for mutual defence. The necessity of some form of 
union had at length begun to force itself upon the 
colonial mind. A rough woodcut had lately appeared 

* Proceedings of the Congress at Albany, N. Y. Col. Docs., rL 863. 
A few verbal changes, for the sake of brevity, are made in the 
above extracts. 


in the *^ Pennsylvania Gazette," figuring the provinces 
under the not very flattering image of a snake cut to 
pieces, with the motto, ^^ Join, or die." A writer of 
the day held up the Five Nations for emulation, 
observing that if ignorant savages could confederate, 
British colonists might do as much.^ Franklin, the 
leading spirit of the congress, now laid before it his 
famous project of union, which has been too often 
described to need much notice here. Its fate is well 
known. The Crown rejected it because it gave too 
much power to the colonies; the colonies, because it 
gave too much power to the Crown, and because it 
required each of them to transfer some of its func- 
tions of self-government to a central council. An- 
other plan was afterwards devised by the friends of 
prerogative, perfectly agreeable to the King, since it 
placed all power in the hands of a council of gov- 
emors, and since it involved compulsory taxation of 
the colonists, who, for the same reasons, would have 
doggedly resisted it, had an attempt been made to 
carry it into eflfect* 

Even if some plan of union had been agreed upon, 
long delay must have followed before its machinery 
could be set in motion; and meantime there was 

^ Kennedy, Importance of gaining and preserving the Friendship of 
the Indians, 

* On the Albany plan of nnion, Franklin's Works, i. 177. Shir- 
ley thought it " a great strain upon the prerogative of the Crown/' 
and was for requiring the colonies to raise money and men ** with- 
out farther consulting them upon any points whateyer." ShirUjf to 
Bobinson, 24 December, 1764. 

1754.] DiNWIDDIE AND GLEN. 188 

need of immediate action. War-parties of Indiana 
from Canada, set on, it was thought, by the governor, 
were already burning and murdering among the 
border settlements of New York and New Hampshire. 
In the south Dinwiddie grew more and more alarmed, 
^for the French are like so many locusts; they are 
collected in bodies in a most surprising manner; 
their number now on the Ohio is from twelve hun- 
dred to fifteen hundred." He writes to Lord Gran 
ville that, in his opinion, they aim to fconquer the 
continent, and that ^^the obstinacy of this stubborn 
generation" exposes the country ^^to the merciless 
rage of a rapacious enemy." What vexed him even 
more than the apathy of the assemblies was the con- 
duct of his brother-governor. Glen of South Carolina, 
who, apparently piqued at the conspicuous part 
Dinwiddie was acting, wrote to him in a "very dic- 
tatorial style," found fault with his measures, jested 
at his activity in writing letters, and even questioned 
the right of England to lands on the Ohio; till he 
was moved at last to retort: "I cannot help observ- 
ing that your letters and arguments would have been 
more proper from a French officer than from one of 
His Majesty's governors. My conduct has met with 
His Majesty's gracious approbation; and I am sorry 
it has not received yours." Thus discouraged, even 
in quarters where he had least reason to expect it, 
he turned all his hopes to the home government; 
again recommended a tax by Act of Parliament, and 
begged, in repeated letters, for arms, munitions, and 


two regiments of infantry.^ His petition was not 
made in vain. 

England at this time presented the phenomenon of 
a prime minister who could not command the respect 
of his own servants. A more preposterous figure 
than the Duke of Newcastle never stood at the head 
of a great nation. He had a feverish craving for 
place and power, joined to a total unfitness for both. 
He was an adept in personal politics, and was so 
biasied with the arts of winning and keeping office 
that he had no leisure, even if he had had ability, for 
the higher work of government. He was restless, 
quick in movement, rapid and confused in speech, 
lavish of worthless promises, always in a hurry, and 
at once headlong, timid, and rash. ^^A borrowed 
importance and real insignificance," says Walpole, 
who knew him well, ^^gave him the perpetual air of 
a solicitor. . . • He had no pride, though infinite 
self-love. He loved business immoderately; yet was 
only always doing it, never did it. When left to 
himself, he always plunged into difficulties, and then 
shuddered for the consequences." Walpole gives an 
anecdote showing the state of his ideas on colonial 
matters. General Ligonier suggested to him that 
Annapolis ought to be defended. "To which he 
replied with his lisping, evasive hurry: 'Annapolis, 
Annapolis! Oh, yes, Annapolis must be defended; 
to be sure, Annapolis should be defended, — where 

^ Dinwiddle Papers; letters to Granyille, Albemarle, Halifax, 
Fox, Holdemesse, Horace Walpole, and Lords of Trade. 


18 Annapolis ? ' " ^ Another contemporaiy, Smolletti 
ridicules him in his novel of ^^ Humphrey Clinker/* 
and tells a similar stoiy, which, founded in fact or 
not, shows in what estimation the minister was held: 
^^ Captain C. treated the Duke's character without 
any ceremony. VThis wiseacre,' said he, ^is still 
abed; and I think the best thing he can do is to 
sleep on till Christmas ; for when he gets up he does 
nothing but expose his own folly. In the beginning 
of the war he told me in a great fright that thirty 
thousand French had marched from Acadia to Cape 
Breton. Where did they find transports ? said I. — 
Transports! cried he, I tell you they marched by 
land. — By land to the island of Cape Breton ! — What, 
is Cape Breton an island ? — Certainly. — Ha! are you 
sure of that ? — When I pointed it out on the map, 
he examined it earnestly with his spectacles ; then, 
taking me in his arms, — My dear C, cried he, you 
always bring us good news. Egad ! I 'U go directly 
and tell the King that Cape Breton is an island. ' " 

His wealth, county influence, flagitious use of 
petronage, and long-practiaed skiU in keeping majori- 
ties in the House of Commons by means that would 
not bear the light, made his support necessary to 
Pitt himself, and placed a fantastic political jobber 
at the helm of England in a time when she needed a 
patriot and a statesman. Newcastle was the growth 
of the decrepitude and decay of a great party, which 
had fulfilled its mission and done its work. But if 

1 Walpole, George IL, i. 844. 


the Whig soil had become poor for a wholesome 
crop, it was never so rich for toadstools. 

Sir Thomas Robinson held the Southern Depart- 
ment, charged with the colonies; and Lord Mahon 
remarks of him that the duke had achieved the feat 
of finding a secretary of state more incapable than 
himself. He had the lead of the House of Commons. 
^Sir Thomas Robinson lead us! " said Pitt to Henry- 
Fox ; ^ the Duke might as well send his jackboot to 
lead us." The active and aspiring Halifax was at 
the head of the Board of Trade and Plantations. 
The Duke of Cumberland commanded the army, 
— an indifferent soldier, though a brave one; harsh, 
violent, and headlong. Anson, the celebrated navi- 
gator, was First Lord of the Admiralty, — a position 
in which he disappointed everybody. 

In France the true ruler was Madame Pompadour, 
once the King's mistress, now his procuress, and a 
sort of feminine prime minister. Machault d' Amou- 
ville was at the head of the Marine and Colonial 
Department. The diplomatic representatives of the 
two Crowns were more conspicuous for social than 
for political talents. Of Mirepoix, French ambassa- 
dor at London, Marshal Saxe had once observed: 
^ It is a good appointment; he can teach the English 
to dance." Walpole says concerning him: ^He 
could not even learn to pronounce the names of our 
games of cards, — which, however, engaged most of 
the hours of his negotiation. We were to be bullied 
out of our colonies by an apprentice at whist I " Lord 


Albemarle, English ambassador at Versailles, is held 
up by Chesterfield as an example to encourage his 
son in the pursuit of the graces: ^^What do you 
think made our friend Lord Albemarle colonel of a 
regiment of Guards, Governor of Virginia, Groom of 
the Stole, and ambassador to Paris, — amounting in 
all to sixteen or seventeen thousand pounds a year? 
Was it his birth? No; a Dutch gentleman only. 
Was it his estate? No; he had none. Was it his 
learning, his parts, his political abilities and appli- 
cation? You can answer these questions as easily 
and as soon as I can ask them. What was it then? 
Many people wondered; but I do not, for I know, 
and will tell you, — it was his air, his address, his 
manners, and his graces." 

The rival nations differed widely in military and 
naval strength. England had afloat more than two 
hundred ships -of -war, some of them of great forces 
while the navy of France counted little more than 
half the number. On the other hand, England had 
reduced her army to eighteen thousand men, and 
France had nearly ten times as many under arms. 
Both alike were weak in leadership. That rare son 
of the tempest, a great conmiander, was to be found 
in neither of them since the death of Saxe. 

In respect to the approaching crisis, the interests 
of the two Powers pointed to opposite courses of 
action. What France needed was time. It was her 
policy to put off a rupture, wreathe her face in 
diplomatic smiles, and pose in an attitude of peace 


and good faiUi, while increasing her navy, reinfor- 
cing her garrisons in America^ and strengthening her 
positions there. It was the policy of England to 
attack at once, and tear up the young encroachments 
while they were yet in the sap, before they could 
strike root and harden into stiff resistance. 

When, on the fourteenth of November, the King 
made his opening speech to the Houses of Parliament, 
he congratulated them on the prevailing peace, and 
assured them that he should improve it to promote 
the trade of his subjects, ^^and protect those posses- 
sions which constitute one great source of their 
wealth.*' America was not mentioned; but his 
hearers understood him, and made a liberal grant for 
the service of the year.^ Two regiments, each of 
five hundred men, had already been ordered to sail 
for Virginia, where their numbers were to be raised 
by enlistment to seven hundred. ^ Major-General 
Braddock, a man after the Duke of Cumberland's 
own heart, was appointed to the chief command. 
The two regiments — the forty-fourth and the forty- 
eighth — embarked at Cork in the middle of January. 
The soldiers detested the service, and many had 
deserted. More would have .done so had they fore- 
seen what awaited them. 

This movement was no sooner known at Versailles 

» Entick, Late War, i. 118. 

' Robinson to Lords of the Admiralty, 30 September, 1764. Ibid, to 
Board of Ordnance, 10 October, 1754. Ibid., Circular Letter to Ameri" 
can Governors, 26 October, 1764. Instructions to our Trusty and Welh 
beloved Edward Braddock, 26 November, 1754. 


than a counter expedition was prepared on a larger 
scale. Eighteen ships-of-war were fitted for sea at 
Brest and Rochefort, and the six battalions of La 
Reine, Boui-gogne, Languedoc, Guienne, Artois, 
and B^am, three thousand men in all, were ordered 
on board for Canada. Baron Dieskau, a German 
veteran who had served under Saxe, was made their 
general; and with him went the new governor of 
French America, the Marquis de Vaudreuil, destined 
to succeed Duquesne, whose health was failing under 
the fatigues of his office. Admiral Dubois de la 
Motte commanded the fleet; and lest the English 
should try to intercept it, another squadron of nine 
ships, under Admiral Macnamara, was ordered to 
accompany it to a certain distance from the coast. 
There was long and tedious delay. Doreil, com- 
missary of war, who had embarked with Vaudreuil 
and Dieskau in the same ship, wrote from the harbor 
of Brest on the twenty-ninth of April: "At last I 
think we are off. We should have been outside by 
four o^clock this morning, if M. de Macnamara had 
not been obliged to ask Count Dubois de la Motte to 
wait till noon to mend some important part of the 
rigging (I don't know the name of it) which was 
broken. It is precious time lost, and gives the Eng- 
lish the advantage over us of two tides. I talk of 
these things as a blind man does of colors. What is 
certain is that Count Dubois de la Motte is very 
impatient to get away, and that the King's fleet 
destined for Canada is in vei}^ able and zealous hands. 


It is now half-past two. In half an hour all may be 
ready, and we may get out of the harbor before 
night." He was SLgaia disappointed ; it was the third 
of May before the fleet put to sea.^ 

During these preparations there was active diplo- 
matic correspondence between the two courts. 
Mirepoix demanded why British troops were sent to 
America. Sir Thomas Robinson answered that there 
was no intention to disturb the peace or offend any 
Power whatever; yet the secret orders to Braddock 
were the reverse of pacific. Robinson asked on his 
part the purpose of the French armament at Brest 
and Rochefort; and the answer, like his own, was a 
protestation that no hostility was meant. At the 
same time Mirepoix in the name of the King proposed 
that orders should be given to the Americcm governors 
on both sides to refrain from all acts of aggres- 
sion. But while making this proposal the French 
Court secretly sent orders to Duquesne to attack and 
destroy Fort Halifax, one of the two forts lately 
built by Shirley on the Kennebec, — a river which, 
by the admission of the French themselves, belonged 
to the English. But, in making this attack, the 
French governor was expressly enjoined to pretend 
that he acted without orders.' He was also told 

^ Lettres dt Cremillef de RoMtaing, et de Doreil au Ministre, Avril 
IS, 24, 28, 29, 1765. Liste des Vaitseaux de Guerre qui compoeent 
PEscadre arm€e h Brest, 1756. Journal of M, de VaudreuiPs Voyage 
to Canada, in N, Y, Col, Docs., x. 297. Pouchot, i. 25. 

* Machault a Duquesne, 17 Fivrier, 1755. The letter of Mirepoix 
propoiing mutual abitinence from aggression is dated on the sixth 


ihat| if necessaiy, he might make use of the Indians 
to harass the English.^ Thus there was good faith 
on neither part; but it is clear through all the oorre- 
spondence that the English expected to gain by pre- 
cipitating an open rupture, and the French by 
postponing it. Projects of convention were proposed 
on both sides, but there was no agreement. The 
English insisted as a preliminary condition that the 
French should evacuate all the western country as 
far as the Wabash. Then ensued a long discussion 
of their respective claims, as futile as the former dis- 
cussion at Paris on Acadian boundaries.^ 

The British Court knew perfectly the naval and 
military preparations of the French. Lord Albemarle 
had died at Paris in December; but the secretary of 
the embassy, De Cosne, sent to London full informa- 
tion concerning the fleet at Brest and Rochefort' 
On this. Admiral Boscawen, with eleven ships-of- 
the-line and one frigate, was ordered to intercept 
it; and as his force was plainly too small. Admiral 
Holboume, with seven more ships, was sent, nearly 
three weeks after, to join him if he could. Their 
orders were similar, — to capture or destroy any 
French vessels bound to North America.^ Boscawen, 

of the same month. The French dreaded Fort Halifax, became 
they thought it prepared the way for an advance on Quebec by way 
of the Chaudi^re. 

1 MachauU a Duquesne, 17 Fourier, 1765. 

^ This correspondence is printed among the Pthces ju8t\ficativet 
of the Pricis des Fait$. 

• Particulars in Entick, i. 121. 

* Stent ImtrwAunufor our Truity and Wdlrbdovtd Edward Bo0» 


who got to sea before La Motte, stationed himself 
near the southern coast of Newfoundland to cut him 
off; but most of the French squadron eluded him, 
and safely made their way, some to Louisbourg, and 
the others to Quebec. Thus the English expedition 
was, in the main, a failure. Three of the French 
ships, however, lost in fog and rain, had become 
separated from the rest, and lay rolling and tossing 
on an angry sea not far from Cape Race. One of 
them was the ^^Alcide," commanded by Captain 
Hocquart; the others were the ^^Lis" and the 
"Dauphin." The wind feU; but the fogs continued 
at intervals ; till, on the afternoon of the seventh of 
June, the weather having cleared, the watchman on 
the maintop saw the distant ocean studded with 
ships. It was the fleet of Boscawen. Hocquart, 
who gives the account, says that in the morning they 
were within three leagues of him, crowding all sail 
in pursuit. Towards eleven o'clock one of them, the 
"Dunkirk,*' was abreast of him to windward, within 
short speaking distance ; and the ship of the admiral, 
displaying a red flag as a signal to engage, was not 
far off. Hocquart called out: "Are we at peace, or 
war?" He declares that Howe, captain of the 
"Dunkirk," replied in French: "La paix, la paix." 
Hocquart then asked the name of the British admiral ; 
and on hearing it said: "I know him; he is a friend 

cawen, Esq,, Vice-Admiral of the Blue, 16 April, 1766. Most secret 
Instructions for Francis Holboume, Esq., Bear^Admiral of the Blue, 9 
Ma^, 1766. Robinson to Lords of the Admiralty, 8 May, 1766. 


of mine.*' Being asked his own name in return, he 
had scarcely uttered it when the batteries of the 
" Dunkirk " belched flame and smoke, and volleyed a 
tempest of iron upon the crowded decks of the 
"Alcide." She returned the fire, but was forced at 
length to strike her colors* Rostaing, second in 
command of the troops, was killed; and six other 
officers, with about eighty men, were killed or 
wounded.^ At the same time the ^^ Lis " was attacked 
and overpowered. She had on board eight companies 
of the battalions of La Reine and Languedoc. The 
third French ship, the "Dauphin," escaped under 
cover of a rising fog.* 

Here at last was an end to negotiation. The sword 
was drawn and brandished in the eyes of Europe. 

^ Ltste de$ Officiers tuA et blets^B dans U Combat de VAlcide et du 

* Hocqoart'i account is giyen in fuU by Plchon, LeUres ei 
Mimoires pour servir h VHistoire du Cap-Breton, The short account 
in Pricis des Fails, 272, seems, too, to be drawn from Hocquart. 
Also Boscawen to Robinson, 22 June, 1755. Vaudreuil au Ministre, 
2iJuiUet,n^. Entick, i. 137. 

Some English accounts say that Captain Howe, in answer to the 
question, " Are we at peace, or war ? " returned, " I don't know ; 
but you had better prepare for war." Boscawen places the action 
on the tenth, instead of the eighth, and puts the English loss at 
seTen kiUed and twenty-seven wounded. 

TOI*. I. — 18 




Absital or Braddook : his Chabactbr. — ConiroiL at Albx- 
ahdbia.-^Plah or thb Caicpaion. — Apathy op thb Colo- 
BitTS. — Baob op Bbaddook. — Frahkun. — FOBT Cumbbblandl 

— C0MPO8ITIOB OP THB Abmy. — Oppbndbd Fbibndb. — Thb 
Mabgh. — Thb Fbbnoh Fobt. — Sayaob Allibs. — Thb Cap* 


— Rout or Bbaddogk : his Dbath. — Indiah Fbbocity. — 
Rbcbption op thb III Nbws. — Wbaknbss op Dunbab. — 
Thb Fbohtdbb abakdobbd. 

^ I HAYB the pleasure to acquaint you that General 
Braddock came to my house last Sunday night, " writes 
Dinwiddle, at the end of February, to Governor 
Dobbs of North Carolina. Braddock had landed 
at Hampton from the ship ^^ Centurion," along with 
young Commodore Keppel, who commanded the 
American squadron. ^^I am mighty glad," ag^in 
writes Dinwiddle, ^^that the General is arrived, 
which I hope will give me some ease; for these 
twelve months past I have been a perfect slave." 
He conceived golden opinions of his guest. ^'He 
is, I think, a very fine officer, and a sensible, con- 
siderate gentleman. He and I live in great harmony. " 


Had he known him better, he might have praised 
him less. William Shirley, son of the governor of 
Massachusetts, was Braddock's secretary; and after 
an acquaintance of some months wrote to his friend 
Governor Morris: "We have a general most judi- 
ciously chosen for being disqualified for the service 
he is employed in in almost every respect. He may 
be brave for aught I know, and he is honest in pecu- 
niary matters." ^ The astute Franklin, who also had 
good opportunity of knowing him, says: "This 
general was, I think, a brave man, and might prob- 
ably have made a good figure in some European war. 
But he had too much self-confidence; too high an 
opinion of the validity of regular troops ; too mean a 
one of both Americans and Indians."^ Horace 
Walpole, in his function of gathering and immortaliz- 
ing the gossip of his time, has left a sharply drawn 
sketch of Braddock in two letters to Sir Horace 
Mann, written in the summer of this year: "I love 
to give you an idea of our characters as they rise 
upon the stage of history. Braddock is a very Iro- 
quois in disposition. He had a sister who, having 
gamed away all her little fortune at Bath, hanged 
herself with a truly English deliberation, leaving 
only a note upon the table with those lines: ^ To die 
is landing on some silent shore, ' etc. When Brad- 
dock was told of it, he only said: ^ Poor Fanny I I 
always thought she would play till she would be 

1 Shirley the younger to Morris, 23 May, 1756. 
3 Franklin, Autobiography, 

196 BRADDOCK. [1756. 

foiced to ttbck herself up. ' " Under the name of Miss 

Sylvia S ^ Goldsmith, in his life of Nash, tells 

the stoiy of this unhappy woman. She was a rash 
bat warm-hearted creature, reduced to penury and 
dependence, not so much by a passion for cards as 
by her lavish generosity to a lover ruined by his own 
follies, and with whom her relations are said to have 
been entirely innocent. Walpole continues : ^^ But a 
more ridiculous story of Braddock, and which is 
recorded in heroics by Fielding in his * Covent 
Grarden Tragedy,' was an amorous discussion he 
had formerly with a Mrs. Upton, who kept him. He 
had gone the greatest lengths with her pin-money, 
and was still craving. One day, that he was very 
pressing, she pulled out her purse and showed him 
that she had but twelve or fourteen shillings left. 
He twitched it from her: ' Let me see that.' Tied 
up at the other end, he found five guineas. He took 
them, tossed the empty purse in her face, saying, 
* Did you mean to cheat me? ' and never went near 
her more. Now you are acquainted with Greneral 

^ He once had a duel with Colonel Gumley, Lady 
Bath's brother, who had been his great friend. As 
they were going to engage, Gumley, who had good- 
humor and wit (Braddock had the latter), said, 
^Braddock, you are a poor dog! Here, take my 
purse; if you kill me, you will be forced to run 
away, and then you will not have a shilling to sup- 
port you. ' Braddock refused the purse, insisted on 


the duel, was disarmed, and would not even ask his 
life. However, with all his brutality, he has lately 
been governor of Gibraltar, where he made himself 
adored, and where scarce any governor was endured 
before. "1 

Another story is told of him by an accomplished 
actress of the time, George Anne Bellamy, whom 
Braddock had known from girlhood, and with whom 
his present relations seem to have been those of an 
elderly adviser and friend. "As we were walking 
in the Park one day, we heard a poor fellow was to 
be chastised; when I requested the General to beg 
off the offender. Upon his application to the general 
officer, whose name was Dury, he asked Braddock 
how long since he had divested himself of the brutal- 
ity and insolence of his manners? To which the 
other replied: 'You never knew me insolent to my 
inferiors. It is only to such rude men as yourself 
that I behave with the spirit which I think they 
deserve. ' " 

Braddock made a visit to the actress on the even- 
ing before he left London for America. " Before we 
parted," she says, "the General told me that he 
should never see me more ; for he was going with a 
handful of men to conquer whole nations ; and to do 
this they must cut their way tlirough unknown 
woods. He produced a map of the country, saying 

1 Letters of Horace Walpole (1866), ii. 459, 461. It is doubtful if 
Braddock was ever govemor of Gibraltar ; though, as Mr. Sargent 
■hows, he once commanded a regiment there. 

198 BRADDOCK. [1755. 

at the same time: ' Dear Pop, we are sent like sacri« 
fices to the altar, ' " ^ — a strange presentiment for a 
man of his sturdy temper. 

Whatever were his failings, he feared nothing, and 
his fidelity and honor in the discharge of public 
trusts were never questioned. ^^ Desperate in his 
fortune, brutal in his behavior, obstinate in his senti- 
ments," again writes Walpole, "he was still intrepid 
and capable."^ He was a veteran in years and in 
service, having entered the Coldstream Guards as 
ensign in 1710. 

The transports bringing the two regiments from 
Ireland all arrived safely at Hampton, and were 
ordered to proceed up the Potomac to Alexandria, 
where a camp was to be formed. Thither, towards 
the end of March, went Braddock himself, along 
with Keppel and Dinwiddle, in the governor's coach; 
while his aide-de-camp, Orme, his secretary, Shirley, 
and the servants of the party followed on horseback. 
Braddock had sent for the elder Shirley and other 
provincial governors to meet him in coimcil ; and on 
the fourteenth of April they assembled in a tent of 
the newly formed encampment. Here was Dinwiddle, 
who thought his troubles at an end, and saw in the 
red-coated soldiery the near fruition of his hopes* 
Here, too, was his friend and ally, Dobbs of North 
Carolina; with Morris of Pennsylvania, fresh from 

^ Apologjffor ike Life of Grtorge Anne Bellamy, written by henelf^ iL 
a04 (London, 1786). 

« Walpole, George IL, I 890. 

1765.] THE COUNCIL. 199 

Assembly quarrels; Sharpe of Maryland, who, hay- 
ing once been a soldier, had been made a sort of 
provisional commander-in-chief before the arrival 
of Braddock; and the ambitious Delancey of New 
York, who had lately led the opposition against the « 
governor of that province, and now filled the office 
himself, — a position that needed all his manifold 
adroitness. But, next to Braddock, the most note- 
worthy man present was Shirley, governor of Massa- 
chusetts. There was a fountain of youth in this old 
lawyer. A few years before, when he was boundary 
conunissioner in Paris, he had had the indiscretion 
to many a young Catholic French girl, the daughter 
of his landlord; and now, when more than sixty 
years old, he thirsted for military honors, and 
delighted in contriving operations of war. He was 
one of a very few in the colonies who at this time 
entertained the idea of expelling the French from 
the continent. He held that Carthage must be 
destroyed; and, in spite of his Parisian marriage, 
was the foremost advocate of the root-and-branch 
policy. He and Lawrence, governor of Nova Scotia, 
had concerted an attack on the French fort of 
Beaus^jour; and, jointly with others in New Eng- 
land, he had planned the capture of Crown Point, 
the key of Lake Champlain. By these two strokes 
and by fortifying the portage between the Kennebec 
and the Chaudidre, he thought that the northern 
colonies would be saved from invasion, and placed 
in a position to become themselves invaders. Then, 

200 BBADDOCK. [176a 

by driving the enemy from Niagara, securing that 
important pass, and thus cutting off the communica- 
tion between Canada and her interior dependencies, 
an the French posts in the West would die of inani- 
tion.^ In order to commend these schemes to the 
home government, he had painted in gloomy colors 
the dangers that beset the British colonies. Our 
Indians, he said, will all desert us if we submit to 
French encroachment. Some of the provinces are 
full of negro slaves, ready to rise against their 
masters, and of Roman Catholics, Jacobites, indented 
servants, and other dangerous persons, who would 
aid the French in raising a servile insurrection. 
Pennsylvania is in the hands of Quakers, who will 
not fight, and of Germans, who are likely enough to 
join the enemy. The Dutch of Albany would do 
anjrthing to save their trade. A strong force of 
French regulars might occupy that place without 
resistance, then descend the Hudson, and, with the 
help of a naval force, capture New York and cut the 
British colonies asunder.^ 

The plans against Crown Point and Beaus^jour 
had already found the approval of the home govern- 
ment and the energetic support of all the New 
England colonies. Preparation for them was in full 
activity; and it was with great difficulty that Shirley 
had disengaged himself from these cares to attend 
the Council at Alexandria. He and Dinwiddle stood 

1 Porrespondence of Shirley ^ 1764, 1755. 
* ShirUjf to Robinson^ 24 January, 1755i 


in the front of opposition to French designs. As 
they both defended the royal prerogative and were 
strong advocates of taxation by Parliament, they 
have found scant justice from American writers. 
Yet the British colonies owed them a debt of grati- 
tude, and the American States owe it still. 

Braddock laid his instructions before the Council, 
and Shirley found them entirely to his mind; while 
the general^ on his part, fully approved the schemes 
of the governor. The plan of the campaign was 
settled. The French were to be attacked at four 
points at once. The two British regiments lately 
arrived were to advance on Fort Duquesne; two 
new regiments, known as Shirley*s and Pepperrell's, 
just raised in the provinces, and taken into the King's 
pay, were to reduce Niagara; a body of provincials 
from New England, New York, and New Jersey was 
to seize Crown Point; and another body of New 
England men to capture Beaus^jour and bring 
Acadia to complete subjection. Braddock himself 
was to lead the expedition against Fort Duquesne. 
He asked Shirley, who, though a soldier only in 
theory, had held the rank of colonel since the last 
war, to charge himself with that against Niagara ; and 
Shirley eagerly assented. The movement on Crown 
Point was intrusted to Colonel William Johnson, by 
reason of his influence over the Indians and his repu- 
tation for energy, capacity, and faithfulness. Lastly, 
the Acadian enterprise was assigned to Lieutenant* 
Colonel Monckton, a reg^ar officer of merit. 

202 BBADDOCK. [175S. 

To strike this fourfold blow in time of peace was 
a scheme worthy of Newcastle and of Cumberland. 
The pretext was that the positions to^be attacked 
were all on British soil; that in occupying them the 
French had been guilty of invasion; and that to 
expel the invaders would be an act of self-defence. 
Yet in regard to two of these positions, the French, 
if they had no other right, might at least claim one 
of prescription. Crown Point had been twenty-four 
years in their imdisturbed possession, while it was 
three quarters of a century since they first occu- 
pied Niagara; and, though New York claimed the 
groimd, no serious attempt had been made to dis- 
lodge them. 

Other matters now engaged the CouncQ. Brad- 
dock, in accordance with his instructions, asked the 
governors to urge upon their several assemblies the 
establishment of a general fund for the service of 
the campaign ; but the governors were all of opinion 
that the assemblies would refuse, — each being 
resolved to keep the control of its money in its own 
hands; and all present, with one voice, advised that 
the colonies should be compelled by Act of Parlia- 
ment to contribute in due proportion to the support 
of the war. Braddock next asked if, in the judg- 
ment of the Council, it would not be well to send 
Colonel Johnson with full powers to treat with the 
Five Nations, who had been driven to the verge of 
an outbreak by the misconduct of the Dutch Indian 
commissioners at Albany. The measure was cor- 

1756.] FREPABATION. 208 

dially approved, as was also another suggestion of 
the general, that vessels should be built at Oswego 
to command Lake Ontario. The Council then 

Shirley hastened back to New England, burdened 
with the preparation for three expeditions and the 
command of one of them. Johnson, who had been in 
the camp, though not in the Council, went back to 
Albany, provided with a commission as sole superin- 
tendent of Indian affairs, and charged, besides, with 
the enterprise against Crown Point; while an express 
was despatched to Monckton at Halifax, with orders 
to set at once to his work of capturing Beaus^jour.^ 

In regard to Braddock's part of the campaign, 
there had been a serious error. If, instead of landing 
in Virginia and moving on Fort Duquesne by the 
long and circuitous route of WilFs Creek, the two 
regiments had disembarked at Philadelphia and 
marched westward, the way would have been short- 
ened, and would have lain through one of the richest 
and most populous districts on the continent, filled 
with supplies of every kind. In Virginia, on the 
other hand, and in the adjoining province of Mary- 

1 Minutes of a Council held at the Camp at Alexandriaf in Virginia, 
April 14, 1765. Instructione to Major-General Braddock, 25 November, 
1754. Secret Instructions to Major-General Braddock, same date. 
Napier to Braddock, written bif Order of the Duke of Cumberland, 25 
November, 1754, in Pr€cis des Fails, Pikces just\ficatives, ld8. Orme, 
Journal of Braddock's Expedition, Instructions to Governor Shirleif. 
Correspondence of Shirley, Correspondence of Braddock (Public 
Record Office). Johnson Papers, Dinwiddle Papers, Pennsylvania 
Archives, ii. 

204 BRADDOCSL [175& 

land, wagons, hoises, and forage were scarce. The 
enemies of the Administration ascrihed this blunder 
to the influence of the Quaker merchant, John 
Hanbury, whom the Duke of Newcastle had con- 
sulted as a person familiar with American affairs. 
Hanbury, who was a prominent stockholder in the 
Ohio Company, and who traded largely in Virgfinia, 
saw it for his interest that the troops should pass 
that way, and is said to have brought the duke to 
this opinion.^ A writer of the time thinks that if 
they had landed in Pennsylvania, forty thousand 
pounds would have been saved in money, and six 
weeks in time.* 

Not only were supplies scarce, but the people 
showed such unwillingness to furnish them, and 
such apathy in aiding the expedition, that even 
Washington was provoked to declare that "they 
ought to be chastised."^ Many of them thought 
that the alarm about French encroachment was a 
device of designing politicians; and they did not 
awake to a full consciousness of the peril till it was 
forced upon them by a deluge of calamities, produced 
by the purblind folly of their own representatives, 
who, instead of frankly promoting the expedition, 

^ Skebbeare's Tracts, Letter L Dr. Shebbeare was a political 
pamphleteer, pilloried bj one ministry, and rewarded by the next 
He certainly speaks of Hanbury, though he does not give his name. 
Compare Sargent, 107, 162. 

' Gentleman's Magazine, August, 1766. 

* Writings of Washington, ii. 78. He speaks of the people of 


displayed a perverse and exasperating narrowness 
which chafed Braddock to fury. He praises the 
New England colonies, and echoes Dinwiddle's 
declaration that they have shown a ^^fine martial 
spirit," and he commends Virginia as having done 
far better than her neighbors ; but for Pennsylvania 
he finds no words to express his wrath. ^ He knew 
nothing of the intestine war between proprietaries 
and people, and hence could see no palliation for a 
conduct which threatened to ruin both the expedition 
and the colony. Everything depended on speed, 
and speed was impossible ; for stores and provisions 
were not ready, lliough notice to furnish them had 
been given months before. The quartermaster- 
general, Sir John Sinclair, ^^ stormed like a lion 
rampant," but with small effect.^ Contracts broken 
or disavowed, want of horses, want of wagons, want 
of forage, want of wholesome food, or sufficient food 
of any kind, caused such delay that the report of it 
reached England, and drew from Walpole the com- 
ment that Braddock was in no hurry to be scalped. 
In reality he was maddened with impatience and 

A powerful ally presently came to his aid in the 
shape of Benjamin Franklin, then postmaster-general 
of Pennsylvania. That sagacious personage, — the 
sublime of commonnsense, about equal in his instincts 

1 Braddock to Robinson, 18 March, 19 April, 5 June, 1766, etc. On 
the attitude of Pennsylvania, Colonial Records of Pa., ri., passim. 
* Colonial Records of Pa,, vi. 368. 

206 BRADDOCK. [1766 

and motives of character to the respectable average 
of the New England that produced him, but gifted 
with a versatile power of brain rarely matched on 
earth, — was then divided between his strong desire 
to repel a danger of which he saw the imminence, 
and his equally strong antagonism to the selfish 
claims of the Penns, proprietaries of Pennsylvania. 
This last motive had determined his attitude towards 
their representative, the governor, and led him into 
an opposition as injurious to the military good name 
of the province as it was favorable to its political 
longings. In the present case there was no such 
conflict of inclinations; he could help Braddock 
without hurting Pennsylvania. He and his son had 
visited the camp, and found the general waiting 
restlessly for the report of the agents whom he had 
sent to collect wagons. ^^I stayed with him," says 
Franklin, ^^ several days, and dined with him daily. 
When I was about to depart, the returns of wagons 
to be obtained were brought in, by which it appeared 
that" they amounted only to twenty-five, and not all 
of these were in serviceable condition." On this the 
general and his officers declared that the expedition 
was at an end, and denounced the ministry for send- 
ing them into a country void of the means of trans- 
portation. Franklin remarked that it was a pity 
they had not landed in Pennsylvania, where almost 
every farmer had his wagon. Braddock caught 
eagerly at his words, and begged that he would use 
his influence to enable the troops to move. Franklin 

175fi.] WILL'S CREEK. 207 

went back to Pennsylyania, issued an address to the 
farmeis appealing to their interest and their fears, 
and in a fortnight procured a hundred and fifty 
wagons, with a large number of horses.^ Braddock, 
grateful to his bene&ctor, and enraged at everybody 
else, pronounced him ^^ Almost the only instance of 
ability and honesty I have known in these provinces." ' 
More wagons and more horses gradually arrived, and 
at the eleventh hour the march began. 

On the tenlli of May Braddock reached Will's 
Creek, where the whole force was now gathered, 
having marched thither by detachments along the 
banks of the Potomac. This old trading-station of 
the Ohio Company had been transformed into a 
military post and named Fort Cumberland. During 
the past winter the independent companies which 
had failed Washington in his need had been at work 
here to prepare a base of operations for Braddock. 
Their axes had been of more avail than their muskets. 
A broad wound had been cut in the bosom of the 
forest, and the murdered oaks and chestnuts turned 
into ramparts, barracks, and magazines. Fort Cum- 
berland was an enclosure of logs set upright in the 
ground, pierced with loopholes, and armed with ten 
small cannon. It stood on a rising ground near the 
point where Will's Creek joined the Potomac, and 

^ Franklin, Autobiography, Advertisement of B, Franklin Jbr 
Wagons , Address to the Inhabitants of the Counties of York, Lanea^ 
ter, and Cumberland, in Pennsylvania Archives, ii. 204. 

> Braddock to Robinson, 5 June, 1755. The letters of Braddock 
here cited are the orig^aU in the Pablic Becord Office. 

208 BRADDOCK. {1750. 

the forest girded it like a mighty hedge^ or rather 
like a paling of gaunt brown stems upholding a 
canopy of green. All around spread illimitable 
woods, wrapping hill, valley, and mountain. The 
spot was an oasis in a desert of leaves, — if the name 
oasis can be given to anything so rude and harsh. In 
this rugged area, or ^^ clearing," all Braddock's force 
was now assembled, amounting, regulars, provincials, 
and sailors, to about twenty-two hundred men. The 
two regiments, Halket's and Dunbar's, had been 
completed by enlistment in Virginia to seven hun- 
dred men each. Of Virginians there were nine 
companies of fifty men, who found no favor in the 
eyes of Braddock or his officers. To Ensign Allen 
of Halket's regiment was assigned the duty of ** mak- 
ing them as much like soldiers as possible,'' ^ — that 
is, of drilling them like regulars. The general had 
little hope of them, and informed Sir Thomas Rob- 
inson that ^^ their slothful and languid disposition 
renders them very imfit for military service, " — a 
point on which he lived to change his mind. Thirty 
saQors, whom Commodore Eeppel had lent him, were 
more to his liking, and were in fact of value in many 
ways. He had now about six himdred baggage- 
horses, besides those of the artillery, all weakening 
daily on their diet of leaves; for no grass was to be 
found. There was great show of discipline, and little 
real order. Braddock's executive capacity seems to 
have been moderate, and his dogged, imperious 

1 Onne, JaumaL 

1755.] mS ILIr-HUMOR. 209 

temper, rasped by disappointments, was in constant 
irritation. " He looks upon the country, I believe, ** 
writes Washington, "as void of honor or honesty. 
We have frequent disputes on this head, which are 
maintained with warmth on both sides, especially on 
his, as he is incapable of arguing without it, or 
giving up any point he asserts, be it ever so incom- 
patible with reason or common sense." ^ Braddock's 
secretary, the younger Shirley, writing to his friend 
Governor Morris, spoke thus irreverently of his 
chief: "As the King said of a neighboring governor 
of yours [Sharpe]^ when proposed for the command 
of the American forces about a twelvemonth ago, 
and recommended as a veiy honest man, though not 
remarkably able, ^ a little more ability and a little 
less honesty upon the present occasion might serve 
our turn better. ' It is a joke to suppose that second- 
ary officers can make amends for the defects of the 
first; the mainspring must be the mover. As to the 
others, I don't think we have much to boast; some 
are insolent and ignorant, others capable, but rather 
aiming at showing their own abilities than making a 
proper use of them. I have a very great love for my 
friend Orme, and think it uncommonly fortunate for 
our leader that he is under the influence of so honest 
and capable a man ; but I wish for the sake of the 
public he had some more experience of business, par- 
ticularly in America. I am greatly disgusted at see- 
ing an expedition (as it is called), so ill-concerted 

* Writings of Washington, ii. 77. 

TOL. I. — 14. 

210 BRADDOCK. [1755. 

originally in England, so improperiy conducted since 
in America."^ 

Captain Robert Orme, of whom Shirley speaks, 
was aide-de-camp to Braddock, and author of a copi* 
ous and excellent Journal of the expedition, now in 
the British Museum.^ His portrait, painted at full 
length by Sir Joshua Reynolds, hangs in the National 
Gallery at London. He stands by his horse, a gallant 
young figure, with a face pale, yet rather handsome, 
booted to the knee, his scarlet coat, ample waistcoat, 
and small three-cornered hat all heavy with gold lace. 
The general had two other aides-de-camp. Captain 
Roger Morris and Colonel George Washington, 
whom he had invited, in terms that do him honor, 
to become one of his military family. 

It has been said that Braddock despised not only 
provincials, but Indians. Nevertheless, he took 
some pains to secure their aid, and complained that 
Indian affairs had been so ill conducted by the prov- 
inces that it was hard to gain their confidence. 
This was true; the tribes had been alienated by 
gross neglect. Had they been protected from 
injustice and soothed by attentions and presents, the 
Five Nations, Delawares, and Shawanoes would have 
been retained as friends. But their complaints had 
been slighted, and every gift begrudged. The trader 

* Shirley the younger to Morris, 23 May, 1765, in Colonial Reeordt 
•fPa., vi. 404. 

* Printed by Sargent, in his ezceUent monograph of Braddock^f 

1765.] INDIAN ALLIES. 211 

Croghan brought, however, about fifty warriors, 
with as many women and children, to the camp at 
Fort Cumberland. They were objects of great 
curiosity to the soldiers, who gazed with astonish- 
ment on their faces, painted red, yellow, and black, 
their ears slit and hung with pendants, and their 
heads close shaved, except the feathered scalp-lock 
at the crown. "In the day," saj^ an oflBcer, "they 
are in our camp, and in the night they go into their 
own, where they dance and make a most horrible 
noise." Braddock received them several times in 
his tent, ordered the guard to salute them, made 
them speeches, caused cannon to be fired and drums 
and fifes to play in their honor, regaled them with 
rum, and gave them a bullock for a feast; whereupon, 
being much pleased, they danced a war-dance, de- 
scribed by one spectator as " droll and odd, showing 
how they scalp and fight;" after which, says an- 
other, " they set up the most horrid song or cry that 
ever I heard. "^ These warriors, with a few others, 
promised the general to join him on the march; but 
he apparently grew tired of them, for a famous chief, 
called -Scarroyaddy, afterwards complained: "He 
looked upon us as dogs, and would never hear any- 
thing that we said to him." Only eight of them 
remained with him to the end.^ 

Another ally appeared at the camp. This was 

1 Journal of a Naval Officer, in Sargent. The Expedition of Major* 
General Braddock, being Extracts of Letters from an Officer (London. 

* Statement of George Croghan, in Sargent, Appendix IIL 

212 BRADDOCK. L176& 

a personage long known in Western fireside story as 
Captain Jack, the Black Hunter, or the Black Rifle. 
It was said of him that having been a settler on the 
farthest frontier, in the Valley of the Juniata, he 
returned one evening to his cabin and found it burned 
to the ground by Indians, and the bodies of his wife 
and children lying among the ruins. He vowed 
undying vengeance, raised a band of kindred spirits, 
dressed and painted like Indians, and became the 
scourge of the red man and the champion of the 
white. But he and his wild crew, useful as they 
might have been, shocked Braddock's sense of 
military fitness; and he received them so coldly that 
they left him.^ 

It was the tenth of June before the army was well 
on its march. Three hundred axemen led the way, 
to cut and clear the road; and the long train of pack- 
horses, wagons, and cannon toiled on behind, over 
the stumps, roots, and stones of the narrow track, 
the regulars and provincials marching in the forest 
close on either side. Squads of men were thrown 
out on the flanks, and scouts ranged the woods to 
guard against surprise; for, with all his scorn of 
Indians and Canadians, Braddock did not neglect 
reasonable precautions. Thus, foot by foot, they 
advanced into the waste of lonely mountains that 
divided the streams flowing to the Atlantic from 
those flowing to the Gulf of Mexico, — a realm of 

1 See teTeral traditional accoontB and contemporary letters in 
HoBard't Pennsylvania Regutsr, It. 889, dOO, 416; y. 101. 

;766.] THE MARCH. 211 

forests ancient as the world. The road was but 
twelve feet wide, and the line of march often extended 
four miles. It was like a thin, long party-colored 
snake, red, blue, and brown, trailing slowly through 
the depth of leaves, creeping round inaccessible 
heights, crawling over ridges, moving alwajrs in 
dampness and shadow, by rivulets and waterfalls, 
crags and chasms, gorges and shaggy steeps. In 
glimpses only, through jagged boughs and flickering 
leaves, did this wild primeval world reveal itself, 
with its dark green mountains, flecked with the 
morning mist, and its distant summits pencilled in 
dreamy blue. The army passed the main Alleghany, 
Meadow Moimtain, and Oreat Savage Mountain, 
and traversed the funereal pine-forest afterwards 
called the Shades of Death. No attempt was made 
to interrupt their march, though the commandant of 
Fort Duquesne had sent out parties for that purpose. 
A few French and Indians hovered about them, now 
and then scalping a straggler or inscribing filthy 
insults on trees; while others fell upon the border 
settlements which the advance of the troops had left 
defenceless. Here they were more successful, butcher^ 
ing about thirty persons, chiefly women and children. 
It was the eighteenth of June before the army 
reached a place called the Little Meadows, less than 
thirty miles from Fort Cumberland. Fever and 
dysentery among the men, and the weakness and 
worthlessness of many of the horses, joined to the 
extreme difiBculty of the road, so retarded them that 

214 BRADDOCE. ;i75& 

they could move scarcely more than three miles a 
day. Braddock consulted with Washington, who 
advised him to leave the heavy baggage to follow as 
it could, and push forward with a body of chosen 
troops. This counsel was given in view of a report 
that five hundoed regulars were on the way to rein- 
force Fort Duquesne. It was adopted. Colonel 
Dunbar was left to command the rear division, whose 
powers of movement were now reduced to the lowest 
point. The advance corps, consisting of about twelve 
hundred soldiers, besides officers and drivers, began 
its march on the nineteenth with such artillery as 
was thought indispensable, thirty wagons, and a 
large number of pack-horses. " The prospect," writes 
Washington to his brother, ^^ conveyed infinite delight 
to my mind, though I was excessively ill at the 
time. But this prospect was soon clouded, and my 
hopes brought very low indeed when I found that, 
instead of pushing on with vigor without regarding 
a little rough road, they were halting to level every 
mole-hill, and to erect bridges over every brook, by 
which means we were four days in getting twelve 
miles." It was not till the seventh of July that 
they neared the mouth of Turtle Creek, a stream 
entering the Monongahela about eight miles from 
the French fort. The way was direct and short, but 
would lead them through a difficult country and a 
defile so perilous that Braddock resolved to ford 
the Monongahela to avoid this danger, and then 
ford it again to reach his destination. 

1756.] THE FREKCH FORT. 215 

Fort Duqnesne stood on the point of land wbeie 
the Alleghany and the Mcnoogahela join to form the 
Ohio, and where now stands Pittsboig, with its 
swarming population, its lestkas industries, the 
clang of its foiges, and its chininejs Tomiting fool 
smoke into the face of heaTen. At that earij dajr a 
white flag fluttering over a cluster of palifttdm and 
embankments betokened the fiist intrusion ei civilized 
men upon a scene which, a few months before, 
breathed the repose of a viigin wilderness, voiceless 
but for the lapinng of waves upon the pebUes, or 
the note of some Imiely bird. But now die sleep of 
ages was broken, and bugle and drum told the 
astonished forest that its doom was pronounced and 
its days numbered. The fort was a compact little 
work, solidly built and stzoi^, cooqiared with others 
on the continent. It was a square of fcNir fasstioos, 
with the water close on two sides, and the other two 
protected by ravelins, ditch, glacis, and covered 
way. The ramparts on ibeae sides were of squared 
logs, filled in with earth, and ten feet or more thsdt 
The two water sides were enclosed by a massive 
stockade of upright logs, twelve feet faigfaf mortised 
together and loopholed. The armameDt conristed of 
a number of small canncm mounted on the tosdons^ 
A gate and drawbridge m the east ode gave acc«as 
to the area within, which was surrounded bjr bar- 
racks for the soldiers, cOcen^ qpsattn^ the k^dgings 
of the commandant, a guard-house and a storehouse, 
all built partly of logs and partly of boards. Them 

216 BBADDOCE. [176& 

were no casements, and the place was commanded 
by a high woody hill beyond the Monongahela. The 
forest had been cleared away to the distance of more 
than a musket-shot from the ramparts, and the 
stumps were hacked level with the ground. Here, 
just outside the ditch, bark cabins had been built for 
such of the troops and Canadians as could not find 
room within; and the rest of the open space was 
covered with Indian com and other crops. ^ 

The garrison consisted of a few companies of the 
regular troops stationed permanently in the colony, 
and to these were added a considerable number of 
Canadians. ContrecoBur still held the command.' 
Under him were three other captains, Beaujeu, 
Dumas, and Ligneris. Besides the troops and Cana- 
dians, eight hundred Indian warriors, mustered 
from far and near, had built their wigwams and 
camp-sheds on the open ground, or under the edge of 
the neighboring woods, — very little to the advantage 
of the young com. Some were baptized savages 
settled in Canada, — Caughnawagas from Saut St. 
Louis, Abenakis from St. Francis, and Hurons from 
Lorette, whose chief bore the name of Anastase, in 
honor of that Father of the Church. The rest were 

1 M'Kirmey'i Detcripiion of Fort Dvtqvesne, 1766, in HtuarcTi 
Peiuuylvanta Register, Tiii. 818. Letters of Robert Stobo, Hostage at 
Fort Duquesne, 1764, in Colonial Records of Pa., vi. 141, 161. Stobo's 
Plan of Fort Duquesne, 1764. Journal of Thomas Forbes, 1766. Letter 
of Captain Haslet, 1768, in Olden Time, i. 184. Plan of Fort Dugwsne 
in Public Record Office. 

* See Appendix D. 

1756.J A YOUNG CAPTIVE. 217 

unmitigated heathen, — Pottawattamies and O jibwas 
from the northern lakes under Charles Langlade, the 
same bold partisan who had led them, three years 
before, to attack the Miamis at Pickawillany; 
Shawanoes and Mingoes from the Ohio ; and Ottawas 
from Detroit, commanded, it is said, by that most 
redoubtable of savages, Pontiac. The law of the 
survival of the fittest had wrought on this hetero- 
geneous crew through countless generations; and 
with the primitive Indian, the fittest was the hardiest, 
fiercest, most adroit, and most wily. Baptized and 
heathen alike, they had just enjoyed a diversion 
greatly to their taste. A young Pennsylvanian 
named James Smith, a spirited and intelligent boy of 
eighteen, had been waylaid by three Indians on the 
western borders of the province and led captive to 
the fort. When the party came to the edge of the 
clearing, his captors, who had shot and scalped his 
companion, raised the scalp-yell ; whereupon a din 
of responsive whoops and firing of guns rose from all 
the Indian camps, and their inmates swarmed out 
like bees, while the French in the fort shot off 
muskets and cannon to honor the occasion. The 
unfortunate boy, the object of this obstreperous 
rejoicing, presently saw a multitude of savages, 
naked, hideously bedaubed with red, blue, black, 
and brown, and armed with sticks or clubs, ranging 
themselves in two long parallel lines, between which 
he was told that he must run, the faster the better, 
as they would beat him all the way. He ran with 

218 BRADDOCK. [1765. 

his best speed, under a shower of blows, and had 
nearly reached the end of the course, when he was 
knocked down. He tried to rise, but was blinded by 
a handful of sand thrown into his face; and then 
they beat him till he swooned. On coming to his 
senses he found himself in the fort, with the surgeon 
opening a vein in his arm and a crowd of French and 
Indians looking on. In a few days he was able to 
walk with the help of a stick ; and, coming out from 
his quarters one morning, he saw a memorable 
scene. ^ 

Three days before, an Indian had brought the 
report that the English were approaching; and the 
Chevalier de la Perade was sent out to reconnoitre.^ 
He returned on the next day, the seventh, with news 
that they were not far distant. On the eighth the 
brothers Normanville went out, and found that they 
were within six leagues of the fort. The French 
were in great excitement and alarm; but Contrecoeur 
at length took a resolution, which seems to have 
been inspired by Beaujeu.* It was determined to 
meet the enemy on the march, and ambuscade them 
if possible at the crossing of the Monongahela, or 
some other favorable spot. Beaujeu proposed the 

1 Account of RemarkabU Occtarreneei in the Life of Colonel James 
Smith, written by himself. Perhaps the best of aU the numerouB 
narratiyes of captiyes among the Indians. 

' Rtlation de Godefroy, in Shea, BcUaille du MalangueuU (Mononga- 

* Dumas, howerer, declares that Beaujeu adopted the plan at 
ills suggestion. Dumas au Ministre, 24 Juillet, 1766. 

1766.] BEAUJEU. 219 


plan to the Indians, and offered them the war- 
hatchet; but they would not take it. "Do you want 
to die, my father, and sacrifice us besides?" That 
night they held a council, and in the morning again 
refused to go. Beaujeu did not despair. "I am 
determined," he exclaimed, "to meet the English. 
What I will you let your father go alone ? " * The 
greater part caught fire at his words, promised to 
follow him, and put on their war-paint. Beaujeu 
received the communion, then dressed himself like a 
savage, and joined the clamorous throng. Open 
barrels of gunpowder and bullets were set before the 
gate of the fort, and James Smith, painfully climbing 
the rampart with the help of his stick, looked down 
on the warrior rabble as, huddling together, wild 
with excitement, they scooped up the contents to fill 
their powder-horns and pouches. Then, band after 
band, they filed off along the forest track that led to 
the ford of the Monongahela. They numbered six 
hundred and thirty-seven; and with them went 
thirty-six French officers and cadets, seventy-two 
regular soldiers, and a hundred and forty-six Cana- 
dians, or about nine hundred in all.^ At eight 
o'clock the tumult was over. The broad clearing 
lay lonely and still, and Contrecoeur, with what was 

^ Hdaiion depuis le DSpart de$ Trouppes de Quibec jxtaqu'au SO du 
Mois de Septembre, 1766. 

* Liste des Officiers, Cadets, SoldttU, Miliciens, et Sauwiges qui com' 
posaient le D€tachement qui a ii€ au devant d'un Corps de 2,000 AngloU 
a 3 Lieues du Fort Duquesne, le 9 JuilUt^ 1766 ; joint a la Lettre de M. 
Bigot du 6 AoQt, 1766. 

220 BRADDOCK. [1755. 

left of his garriBon, waited in suspense for the 

It was near one o'clock when Braddock crossed 
the Monongahela for the second time. If the French 
made a stand anywhere, it would be, he thought, at 
the fording-place; but Lieutenant-Colonel Gage, 
whom he sent across with a strong advance-party, 
found no enemy, and quietly took possession of the 
farther shore. Then the main body followed. To 
impose on the imagination of the French scouts, who 
were doubtless on the watch, the movement was 
made with studied regularity and order. The sun 
was cloudless, and the men were inspirited by the 
prospect of near triumph. Washington afterwards 
spoke with admiration of the spectacle.^ The 
music, the banners, the mounted officers, the troop 
of light cavalry, the naval detachment, the red- 
coated regulars, the blue-coated Virginians, the 
wagons and tumbrils, cannon, howitzers, and coe- 
homs, the train of packhorses, and the droves of 
cattle, passed in long procession through the rippling 
shallows, and slowly entered the bordering forest. 
Here, when all were over, a short halt was ordered 
for rest and refreshment. 

Why had not Beaujeu defended the ford? This 
was his intention in the morning; but he had been 
met by obstacles, the nature of which is not wholly 
clear. His Indians, it seems, had proved refractory. 

1 Compare the account of another eye-witness, Dr. Walker, in 
JSTasarcft Ptnmylvania Register, tL lOi. 



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1755.] THE CRISIS NEAR. 221 

Three hundred of them left him, went off in another 
direction, and did not rejoin him till the English had 
crossed the river. ^ Hence perhaps it was that, hav- 
ing left Fort Duquesne at eight o'clock, he spent 
half the day in marching seven miles, and was more 
than a mile from the fording-place when the British 
reached the eastern shore. The delay, from what- 
ever cause arising, cost him the opportunity of laying 
an ambush either at the ford or in the gullies and 
ravines that channelled the forest through which 
Braddock was now on the point of marching. 

Not far from the bank of the river, and close by 
the British line of march, there was a clearing and 
a deserted house that had once belonged to the trader 
Fraser. Washington remembered it well. It was 
here that he found rest and shelter on the winter 
journey homeward from his mission to Fort Le Bqeuf . 
He was in no less need of rest at this moment; for 
recent fever had so weakened him that he could 
hardly sit his horse. From Fraser's house to Fort 
Duquesne the distance was eight miles by a rough 
path, along which the troops were now beginning to 
move after their halt. It ran inland for a little, 
then curved to the left, and followed a course paral- 
lel to the river along the base of a line of steep hills 
that here bordered the valley. These and all the 
country were buried in dense and heavy forest, 
choked with bushes and the carcasses of fallen trees. 
Braddock has been charged with marching blindly 

^ Relation de God^oy^ in Shea, Bataille du MaiangueuU. 

222 BRADDOCK. [1766. 

into an ambuscade; but it was not so. There was 
no ambuscade; and had there been one, he would 
have found it. It is true that he did not reconnoitre 
the woods very far in advance of the head of the 
column; yet, with this exception, he made elaborate 
dispositions to prevent surprise. Several guides, 
with six Virginian light horsemen, led the way. 
Then, a musketnshot behind, came the vanguard; 
then three hundred soldiers under Gage; then a 
large body of axemen, under Sir John Sinclair, to 
open the road; then two cannon with tumbrils and 
tool-wagons; and lastly the rear-guard, closing the 
line, while flanking-parties ranged the woods on both 
sides. This was the advance-column. The main 
body followed with little or no interval The artil- 
lery and wagons moved along the road, and the 
troops filed through the woods close on either hand. 
Numerous flanking-parties were thrown out a hun- 
dred yards and more to right and left; while, in the 
space between them and the marching column, the 
pack-horses and cattle, with their drivers, made 
their way painfully among the trees and thickets; 
since, had they been allowed to follow the road, the 
line of march would have been too long for mutual 
support. A body of regulars and provincials brought 
up the rear. 

Gage, with his advance column, had just passed a 
wide and bushy ravine that crossed their path, and 
the van of the main column was on the point of 
entering it, when the guides and light horsemen in 

1756.] THE BATTLE. 2$58 

the front suddenly fell back; and the engineer, 
Gordon, then engaged in marking out the road, saw 
a man, dressed like an Indian, but wearing the 
gorget of an o£Scer, bounding forward along the 
path.^ He stopped when he discovered the head of 
the column, turned, and waved his hat. The forest 
behind was swarming with French and savages. At 
the signal of the officer, who was probably Beaujeu, 
they yelled the war-whoop, spread themselves to 
right and left, and opened a sharp fire under cover 
of the trees. Gage's column wheeled deliberately 
into line, and fired several volleys with great steadi- 
ness against the now invisible assailants. Few of 
them were hurt; the trees caught the shot, but the 
noise was deafening under the dense arches of the 
forest. The greater part of the Canadians, to borrow 
the words of Dumas, "fled shamefully, crying, 
* Sauve qui pent I ' " ^ Volley followed volley, and at 
the third Beaujeu dropped dead. Gage's two cannon 
were now brought to bear, on which the Indians, like 
the Canadians, gave way in confusion, but did not, 
like them, abandon the field. The close scarlet 
ranks of the English were plainly to be seen through 
the trees and the smoke; they were moving forward, 
cheering lustily, and shouting, "God save the King! " 
Dumas, now chief in command, thought that all was 
lost. "I advanced," he says, "with the assurance 

^ Journal of the Proceeding of the Detachment of Seamen, in Sargent. 
« Dumas au Minittre, 24 Juillet, 1756. Contrecctur a Vaudreuil, 14 
JuiUet, 1766. See Appendix D, where extracts are given. 

224 BRADDOCK. [1755. 

that comes from despair, exciting by voice and 
gesture the few soldiers that remained. The fire of 
mj platoon was so sharp that the enemy seemed 
astonished. '^ The Indians, encouraged, began to 
rally. The French officers who commanded them 
showed admirable courage and address; and while 
Dumas and Lignens, with the regulars and what 
was left of the Canadians, held the ground in front, 
the savage warriors, screeching their war-cries, 
swarmed through the forest along both flanks of the 
English, hid behind trees, bushes, and fallen trunks, 
or crouched in gillies and ravines, and opened a 
deadly fire on the helpless soldiery, who, themselves 
completely visible, could see no enemy, and wasted 
volley after volley on the impassive trees. The most 
destructive fire came from a hill on the English right, 
where the Indians lay in multitudes, firing from 
their lurking-places on the living target below. But 
the invisible death was everywhere, in front, fiank, 
and rear. The British cheer was heard no more. 
The troops broke their ranks and huddled together in 
a bewildered mass, shrinking from the bullets that 
cut them down by scores. 

When Braddock heard the firing in the front, he 
pushed forward with the main body to the support of 
Oage, leaving four hundred men in the rear, under 
Sir Peter Halket, to guard the baggage. At the 
moment of his arrival Gage's soldiers had abandoned 
their two cannon, and were falling back to escape 
the concentrated fire of the Indians. Meeting the 


advanoing troops, they tried to find cover behind 
them. This threw the whole into confusion. The 
men of the two regiments became mixed together; 
and in a short time the entire force, except the 
Virginians and the troops left with Halket, were 
massed in several dense bodies within a small space 
of ground, facing some one way and some another, 
and all alike exposed without shelter to the bullets 
that pelted them like hail. Both men and officers 
were new to this blind and frightful warfare of the 
savage in his native woods. To charge the Indians 
in their hiding-places would have been useless. They 
would have eluded pursuit with the agility of wild- 
oats, and swarmed back, like angry hornets, the 
moment that it ceased. The Virginians alone were 
equal to the emergency. Fighting behind trees like 
the Indians themselves, they might have held the 
enemy in check till order could be restored, had not 
Braddock, furious at a proceeding that shocked all 
his ideas of courage and discipline, ordered them, 
with oaths, to form into line. A body of them 
under Captain Waggoner made a dash for a fallen 
tree lying in the woods, far out towards the lurking- 
places of the Indians, and, crouching behind the 
huge trunk, opened fire ; but the regulars, seeing the 
smoke among the bushes, mistook their best friends 
for the enemy, shot at them from behind, killed 
many, and forced the rest to return. A few of the 
regulars also tried in their clumsy way to fight 
behind trees; but Braddock beat them with hii 

VOL I. — 15 

226 BRADDOCE. (1756. 

sword, and compelled them to stand with the rest, 
an open mark for the Indians. The panic increased; 
the soldiers crowded together, and the bullets spent 
themselves in a mass of human bodies. Commands, 
entreaties, and threats were lost upon them. ^ We 
would fight,'* some of them answered, "if we could 
see anybody to fight with." Nothing was visible 
but puffs of smoke. Officers and men who had stood 
all the afternoon under fire afterwards declared that 
they could not be sure they had seen a single Indian. 
Braddock ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Burton to 
attack the hill where the puffs of smoke were 
thickest, and the bullets most deadly. With infinite 
difficulty that brave officer induced a hundred men to 
follow him; but he was soon disabled by a wound, 
and they all faced about. The artillerymen stood 
for some time by their guns, which did great damage 
to the trees and little to the enemy. The mob of 
soldiers, stupefied with terror, stood panting, their 
foreheads beaded with sweat, loading and firing 
mechanically, sometimes into the air, sometimes 
among their own comrades, many of whom they 
killed. The ground, strewn with dead and wounded 
men, the bounding of maddened horses, the clatter 
and roar of musketry and cannon, mixed with the 
spiteful report of rifles and the yells that rose from 
the indefatigable throats of six hundred unseen 
savages, formed a chaos of anguish and terror 
scarcely paralleled even in Indian war. "I cannot 
describe the horrors of that scene," one of Braddock's 


o£Bcers wrote three weeks after; **no pen could do 
it. The yell of the Indians is fresh on my ear, and 
the terrific sound will haunt me till the hour of my 

Braddock showed a furious intrepidity. Mounted 
on horseback, he dashed to and fro, storming like a 
madman. Four horses were shot under him, and he 
mounted a fifth. Washington seconded his chief 
with equal courage; he too no doubt using strong 
language, for he did not measure words when the 
fit was on him. He escaped as by miracle. Two 
horses were killed under him, and four bullets tore 
his clothes. The conduct of the British officers was 
above praise. Nothing could surpass their undaunted 
self-devotion; and in their vain attempts to lead on 
the men, the havoc among them was frightful. Sir 
Peter Halket was shot dead. His son, a lieutenant 
in his regiment, stooping to raise the body of his 
father, was shot dead in turn. Young Shirley, 
Braddock's secretary, was pierced through the brain. 
Orme and Morris, his aides-de-camp, Sinclair, the 
quartermaster-general. Gates and Gage, both after- 
wards conspicuous on opposite sides in the War of 
the Revolution, and Gladwin, who, eight years later, 
defended Detroit against Pontiac, were all wounded. 
Of eighty-six officers, sixty-three were killed or dis- 
abled ;2 while out of thirteen hundred and seventy- 

* Leslie to a Merchant of Philadelphia, 30 July, 1756, in HazanTs 
Pennsylvania Register, y. 101. Leslie was a lieutenant of the Fortj- 

* A List of the Officen who were present, and of those kiUed and 

228 BRADDOCK. [1755. 

three non-commissioned officers and privates, only 
four hundred and fifty-nine came ofif unharmed.^ 

Braddock saw that all was lost. To save the wreck 
of his force from annihilation, he at last commanded 
a retreat; and as he and such of his officers as were 
left strove to withdraw the half-frenzied crew in 
some semblance of order, a bullet struck him down. 
The gallant bulldog fell from his horse, shot through 
the arm into the lungs. It is said, though on evi- 
dence of no weight, that the bullet came from one 
of his own men. Be this as it may, there he lay 
among the bushes, bleeding, gasping, unable even 
to curse. He demanded to be left where he was. 
Captain Stewart and another provincial bore him 
between them to the rear. 

It was about this time that the mob of soldiers, 
having been three hours under fire, and having spent 
their ammunition, broke away in a blind frenzy, 
rushed back towards the ford, "and when," says 
Washington, "we endeavored to rally them, it was 
with as much success as if we had attempted to stop 
the wild bears of the mountains." They dashed 
across, helter-skelter, plunging through the water to 
the farther bank, leaving wounded comrades, cannon, 

wounded, m the Action on the Banks of the Monongahda, Jtdy, 1766 
(Pablic Record Office, America and West Indies, Ixxzii). 

^ Statement of the engineer, Mackellar. By another account, 
oat of a total, officers and men, of 1,460, the nnmber of all ranks 
who escaped was 683. Braddock's force, originally 1,200, was in« 
creased, a few days before the battle, by detachments from 


baggage, the military chest, and the general's papers, 
a prey to the Indians. About fifty of these followed 
to the edge of the river. Dumas and Ligneris, who 
had now only about twenty Frenchmen with them, 
made no attempt to pursue, and went back to the 
fort, because, says Contrecoeur, so many of the 
Canadians had "retired at the first fire." The field, 
abandoned to the savages, was a pandemonium of 
pillage and murder. ^ 

James Smith, the young prisoner at Fort Duquesne, 

^ " NoQs primes le parti de nous retirer en yue de rallier notre 
petite arm^e." — Dumas au Ministre, 24 Juillet, 1766. 

On the defeat of Braddock, besides anthorities already cited, — 
ShirUif to RobtMon, 6 November, 1766, accompanying the plans of 
the battle reproduced in this volume (Public Record Office, America 
and West Indies, Ixxxii.). The plans were drawn at Shirley's request 
by Patrick Mackellar, chief engineer of the expedition, who was 
with QtLge in the advance column when the fight began. They were 
examined and fully approved by the chief surviving officers, and 
they closely correspond with another plan made by the aide-de- 
camp Orme, — which, however, shows only the beginning of the 

Report of the Court of Inquiry into the Behavior of the Troops at the 
Monongahela. Letters of Dinwiddie. Letters of Gage, Burd to Mor- 
ris, 26 July, 1766. Sinclair to Robinson, 3 September. Rutherford to 

, 12 July, Wntings of Washington, ii. 68-08. Review of Mili- 

tary Operations in North America, Entick, i. 146. Gentleman's 
Magazine (1766), 378, 426. Letter to a Friend on the Ohio Drfeat 
(Boston, 1766). 

Contreccmr a Vaudreuil, 14 Juillet, 1766. Estat de rArtillerie, etc., 
qui se sont trouves sur la Champ de BataiUe. Vaudreuil au Ministre, 
6 Ao^, 1766. Bigot au Ministre, 27 Ao^. Relation du Combat du 
9 Juillet. Relation depuis le Depart des Trouppes de QuAec jusqyfau 
90 du Mois de Septembre. Lotbinihre a d'Argenson, 24 Octobre. RelO' 
(ton officielle imprimSe au Louvre. Relation de Godefroy (Shea). Ex- 
traits du Registre du Fort Duquesne (Ibid.). Relation de diverses 
Mourements (Ibid.). Pouchot, i. 37. 

280 BRADDOCK. [176S, 

had passed a day of suspense, waiting the insult. 
*^In the afternoon I again observed a great noise and 
commotion in the fort, and, though at that time I 
could not understand French, I found it was the 
voice of joy and triumph, and feared that they had 
received what I called bad news. I had observed 
some of the old-country soldiers speak Dutch; as I 
spoke Dutch, I went to one of them and asked him 
what was the news. He told me that a runner had 
just arrived who said that Braddock would certainly 
be defeated; that the Indians and French had sur- 
rounded him, and were concealed behind trees and 
in gullies, and kept a constant fire upon the English; 
and that they saw the English falling in heaps; and 
if they did not take the river, which was the only 
gap, and make their escape, there would not be one 
man left alive before sundown. Some time after 
this, I heard a number of scalp-halloos, and saw a 
company of Indians and French coming in. I ob- 
served they had a great number of bloody scalps, 
gprenadiers' caps, British canteens, bayonets, etc., 
with them. They brought the news that Braddock 
was defeated. After that another company came in, 
which appeared to be about one hundred, and chiefly 
Indians ; and it seemed to me that almost every one 
of this company was carrying scalps. After this 
came another company with a number of wagon- 
horses, and also a gpreat many scalps. Those that 
were coming in and those that had arrived kept a 
constant firing of small arms, and also the great 

176ft.] AFTER THE BATTLE. 281 

guns in the fort, which were accompanied with the 
most hideous shouts and yells from all quarters, so 
that it appeared to me as though the infernal regions 
had broke loose. 

^ About sundown I beheld a small party coming in 
with about a dozen prisoners, stripped naked, with 
their hands tied behind their backs and their faces 
and part of their bodies blacked; these prisoners they 
burned to death on the bank of Alleghany River, 
opposite the fort. I stood on the fort wall until I 
beheld them begin to bum one of these men; they 
had him tied to a stake, and kept touching him with 
firebrands, red-hot irons, etc., and he screaming in a 
most doleful manner, the Indians in the meantime 
yelling like infernal spirits. As this scene appeared 
too shocking for me to behold, I retired to my lodg- 
ing, both sore and sorry. When I came into my 
lodgings I saw Russel's Seven Sermons, which they 
had brought from the field of battle, which a French- 
man made a present of to me." 

The loss of the French was slight, but fell chiefly 
on the officers, three of whom were killed, and four 
wounded. Of the regular soldiers, all but four 
escaped untouched. The Canadians suffered still 
less, in proportion to their numbers, only five of 
them being hurt. The Indians, who won the victory, 
bore the principal loss. Of those from Canada, 
twenty-seven were killed and wounded; while the 
casualties among the western tribes are not reported.^ 

^ Liste de$ Officiers, Soldats, Miltdeni, et Sauvagt$ de Canada qui 
imt^tu€$et hUsUi U 9 JtiOlet, 1756. 

232 BRADDOCK. [1756. 

All of these last went off the next morning with 
their plunder and scalps, leaving Contreeoeur in great 
anxiety lest the remnant of Braddock's troops, rein- 
forced by the division under Dunbar, should attack 
him again. His doubts would have vanished had he 
known the condition of his defeated enemy. 

In the pain and languor of a mortal wound, Brad- 
dock showed unflinching resolution. His bearers 
stopped with him at a favorable spot beyond the 
Monongahela; and here he hoped to maintain his 
position till the arrival of Dunbar. By the efforts 
of the officers about a hundred men were collected 
around him ; but to keep them there was impossible. 
Within an hour they abandoned him, and fled like 
the rest. Gage, however, succeeded in rallying 
about eighty beyond the other f ording-place ; and 
Washington, on an order from Braddock, spurred his 
jaded horse towards the camp of Dunbar to demand 
wagons, provisions, and hospital stores. 

Fright overcame fatigue. The fugitives toiled on 
all night, pursued by spectres of horror and despair; 
hearing still the war-whoops and the shrieks; pos- 
sessed with the one thought of escape from this 
wilderness of death. In the morning some order 
was restored. Braddock was placed on a horse; 
then, the pain being insufferable, he was carried on 
a litter. Captain Orme having bribed the carriers by 
the promise of a guinea and a bottle of rum apiece. 
Early in the succeeding night, such as had not fainted 
on the way reached the deserted farm of Gist. Here 

1755.] PANIC. 233 

they met wagons and provisions, with a detachment 
of soldiers sent by Dunbar, whose camp was six 
miles farther on; and Braddock ordered them to go 
to the relief of the stragglers left behind. 

At noon of that day a number of wagoners and 
pack-horse drivers had come to Dunbar's camp with 
wild tidings of rout and ruin. More fugitives fol- 
lowed; and soon after a wounded officer was brought 
in upon a sheet. The drums beat to arms. The 
camp was in commotion; and many soldiers and 
teamsters took to flight, in spite of the sentinels, 
who tried in vain to stop them.^ There was a still 
more disgraceful scene on the next day, after Brad- 
dock, with the wreck of his force, had arrived. 
Orders were given to destroy such of the wagons^ 
stores, and ammunition as could not be carried back 
at once to Fort Cumberland. Whether Dunbar or 
the dying general gave these orders is not clear; but 
it is certain that they were executed with shameful 
alacrity. More than a hundred wagons were burned; 
cannon, coehoms, and shells were burst or buried; 
barrels of gunpowder were staved, and the contents 
thrown into a brook; provisions were scattered 
tiirough the woods and swamps. Then the whole 
command began its retreat over the mountains to 
Fort Cumberland, sixty miles distant. This pro- 
ceeding, for which, in view of the condition of 
Braddock, Dunbar must be held answerable, excited 

^ Depositions of Matthew Laird , Michael Hoover, and Jacob Hoover^ 
Wagoners, in Colonial Records of Pa,, vi. 482. 

284 BRADDOCR. U765. 

the utmost indignation among the colonists. If he 
could not advance, they thought, he might at least 
have fortified himself and held his ground till the 
provinces could send him help; thus covering the 
frontier, and holding French war-parties in check. 

Braddock's last moment was near. Orme, who, 
though himself severely wounded, was with him till 
his death, told Franklin that he was totally silent all 
the first day, and at night said only, *'Who would 
have thought it?" that all the next day he was again 
silent, till at last he muttered, ''We shall better 
know how to deal with them another time," and died 
a few minutes after. He had nevertheless found 
breath to give orders at Gist's for the succor of the 
men who had dropped on the road. It is said, too, 
that in his last hours ''he could not bear the sight of 
a red coat," but murmured praises of "the blues," 
or Virginians, and said that he hoped he should live 
to reward them.^ He died at about eight o'clock in 
the evening of Sunday, the thirteenth. Dunbar had 
begun his retreat that morning, and was then en- 
camped near the Great Meadows. On Monday the 
dead commander was buried in the road ; and men, 
horses, and wagons passed over his grave, effacing 
every sign of it, lest the Indians should find and 
mutilate the body. 

Colonel James Innes, commanding at Fort Cum- 
berland, where a crowd of invalids with soldiers* 

1 Boiling to his Son, 18 August, 1755. Boiling wu a Virginian 
gentleman whose son was at school in England. 


1755.] NEWS OF THE ROUT. 286 

wives and other women had been left when the 
expedition marched, heard of the defeat, only two 
days after it happened, from a wagoner who had fled 
from the field on horseback. He at once sent a note 
of six lines to Lord Fairfax: **I have this moment 
received the most melancholy news of the defeat of 
our troops, the General killed, and numbers of our 
officers ; our whole artillery taken. In short, the ac- 
count I have received is so very bad, that as, please 
God, I intend to make a stand here, 'tis highly 
necessary to raise the militia everywhere to defend 
the frontiers." A boy whom he sent out on horse- 
back met more fugitives, and came back on the four- 
teenth with reports as vague and disheartening as 
the first. Innes sent them to Dinwiddie.^ Some 
days after, Dunbar and his train arrived in miserable 
disorder, and Fort Cumberland was turned into a 
hospital for the shattered fragments of a routed and 
ruined army. 

On the sixteenth a letter was brought in haste to 
one Buchanan at Carlisle, on the Pennsylvanian 
frontier: — 

Sib, — I thought it proper to let you know that I was 
in the battle where we were defeated. And we had about 
eleven hundred and fifty private men, besides officers and 
others. Aod we were attacked the ninth day about twelve 
o'clock, and held till about three in the afternoon, and 
then we were forced to retreat, when I suppose we might 
bring off about three hundred whole men, besides a vast 

1 Inne* to DinwiddU, 14 Jultf, 1766l 

286 BRADDOCK. [176A. 

many wounded. Most of our officers were either wounded 
or killed; General Braddock is wounded, but I hope not 
mortal ; and Sir John Sinclair and many others, but I 
hope not mortal. All the train is cut off in a manner. 
Sir Peter Halket and his son, Captain Poison, Captain 
G^then, Captain Kose, Captain Tatten killed, and many 
others. Captain Ord of the train is wounded, but I hope 
not mortal. We lost all our-iartillery entirely, and every- 
thing else. 

To Mr. John Smith and Buchannon, and give it to the 
next post, and let him show this to Mr. Q«orge Gibson in 
Lancaster, and Mr. Bingham, at the sign of the Ship, and 

you'll oblige. 

Yours to command, 

John Campbell, Messenger,^ 

The evil tidings quickly reached Philadelphia, 
where such confidence had prevailed that certain 
over-zealous persons had begun to collect money for 
fireworks to celebrate the victo^. Two of these, 
brother physicians named Bond, came to Franklin 
and asked him to subscribe; but the sage looked 
doubtful. *' Why, the devil I " said one of them, 
**you surely don't suppose the fort will not be 
taken?" He reminded them that war is always 
uncertain; and the subscription was deferred.^ The 
governor laid the news of the disaster before his 
Council, telling them at the same time that his oppo- 
nents in the Assembly would not believe it, and had 
insulted him in the street for giving it currency.^ 

1 CoUmial Records of Pa., yL 481. 

* Autobiography 'of Franklin, 

• Colonial Records of Pa,, yL 480. 



Dinwiddle remained tranquil at Williamsburg, 
sure that all would go well. The brief note of 
Innes, forwarded by Lord Fairfax, first disturbed his 
dream of triumph; but on second thought he took 
comfort. *^ I am willing to think that account was 
from a deserter who, in a great panic, represented 
what his fears suggested. I wait with impatience 
for another express from Fort Cumberland, which I 
expect will greatly contradict the former." The 
news got abroad, and the slaves showed sig^ of 
excitement. ^^The villany of the negroes on any 
emergency is what I always feared," continues the 
governor. ^ An example of one or two at first may 
prevent these creatures entering into combinations 
and wicked designs. " ^ And he wrote to Lord Hali- 
fax: ^*The negro slaves have been very audacious 
on the news of defeat on the Ohio. These poor 
creatures imagine the French will give them their 
freedom. We have too many here ; but I hope we 
shall be able to keep them in proper subjection.** 
Suspense grew intolerable. "It*s monstrous they 
should be so tardy and dilatory in sending down any 
farther account." He sent Major Colin Campbell 
for news ; when, a day or two later, a courier brought 
him two letters, one from Orme, and the other from 
Washington, both written at Fort Cumberland on the 
eighteenth. The letter of Orme began thus: "My 
dear Governor, I am so extremely ill in bed with the 
wound I have received that I am under the necessity 

^ DinwiddU to CoUmel Charles Carter, 18 July, 176& 

288 BRADDOCE. [175Qi 

of employing my friend Captain Dobson as my 
scribe.'* Then he told the wretched story of defeat 
and humiliation. *^ The officers were absolutely sac- 
rificed by their unparalleled good behavior ; advancing 
before their men sometimes in bodies, and sometimes 
separately, hoping by such an example to engage the 
soldiers to follow them; but to no purpose. Poor 
Shirley was shot through the head, Captain Morris 
very much wounded. Mr. Washington had two 
horses shot under him, and his clothes shot through 
in several places ; behaving the whole time with the 
gpreatest courage and resolution.'* 

Washington wrote more briefly, saying that, as 
Orme was giving a full account of the affair, it was 
needless for him to repeat it. Like many others in 
the fight, he greatly underrated the force of the 
enemy, which he placed at three hundred, or about a 
tiiird of the actual number, — a natural error, as most 
of the assailants were invisible. " Our poor Virginians 
behaved like men, and died like soldiers; for I 
believe that out of three companies that were there 
that day, scarce thirty were left alive. Captain 
Peronney and all his officers down to a corporal were 
killed. Captain Poison shared almost as hard a fate, 
for only one of his escaped. In short, the das- 
tardly behavior of the English soldiers exposed all 
those who were inclined to do their duty to almost 
certain death. It is imagined (I believe with great 
justice, too) that two thirds of both killed and 
woimded received their shots from our own cowardly 


dogs of soldieiB, who gathered themselves into a 
body, contrary to orders, ten and twelve deep, would 
then level, fire, and shoot down the men before 

To Orme, Dinwiddle replied : ^^ I read your letter 
with tears in my eyes; but it gave me much pleasure 
to see your name at the bottom, and more so when I 
observed by the postscript that your wound is not 
dangerous. But pray, dear sir, is it not possible by 
a second attempt to retrieve the great loss we have 
sustained? I presume the General's chariot is at 
the fort In it you may come here, and my house is 
heartily at your command. Pray take care of your 
valuaUe health; keep your spirits up, and I doubt 
not of your recovery. My wife and girls join me in 
most sincere respects and joy at your being so well, 
and I always am, with great truth, dear friend, your 
affectionate humble servant." 

To Washington he is less effusive, though he had 
known him much longer. He begins, it is true, 
^^Dear Washington," and congratulates him on his 
escape; but soon grows formal, and asks: **Pray, sir, 
with the number of them remaining, is there no 
possibility of doing something on the other side of 
the mountains before the winter months? Surely 
you must mistake. Colonel Dunbar will not march 
to winter-quarters in the middle of summer, and 
leave the frontiers exposed to the invasions of the 

^ These extracts are taken from the two letters preserved in the 
Pablic Record Oi&ce, America and Wett Indie$, \xx\y., iTTxiJ, 


enemy ! No ; he is a better officer, and I have a 
different opinion of him. I sincerely wish you health 
and happiness, and am, with great respect, sir, your 
obedient, humble servant." 

Washington's letter had contained the astonishing 
announcement that Dunbar meant to abandon the 
frontier and march to Philadelphia. Dinwiddie, 
much disturbed, at once wrote to that officer, though 
without betraying any knowledge of his intention. 
^*Sir, the melancholy account of the defeat of our 
forces gave me a sensible and real concern " — on 
which he enlarges for a while ; then suddenly changes 
style: **Dear Colonel, is there no method left to 
retrieve the dishonor done to the British arms? As 
you now command all the forces that remain, are you 
not able, after a proper refreshment of your men, to 
make a second attempt? You have four months now 
to come of the best weather of the year for such an 
expedition. What a fine field for honor will Colonel 
Dunbar have to confirm and establish his character as 
a brave officer." Then, after suggesting plans of 
operation, and entering into much detail, the fervid 
governor concludes : '^ It gives me great pleasure that 
under our great loss and misfortunes the command de- 
volves on an officer of so great military judgment and 
established character. With my sincere respect and 
hearty wishes for success to all your proceedings, I 
am, worthy sir, your most obedient, humble servant." 

Exhortation and flattery were lost on Dunban 
Dinwiddie received from him in reply a short, dry 

1755 ] CONDUCT OF DUNBAR, 241 

note, dated on the first of August, and acquainting 
him that he should march for Philadelphia on the 
second. This, in fact, he did, leaving the fort to be 
defended by invalids and a few Virginians. ^^I 
acknowledge," says Dinwiddle, ^'I was not brought 
up to arms; but I think common sense would have 
prevailed not to leave the frontiers exposed after 
having opened a road over the mountains to the Ohio, 
by which the enemy can the more easily invade tu. 
. . . Your great colonel," he writes to Orme, "is 
gone to a peaceful colony, and left our frontiers 
open. . . . The whole conduct of Colonel Dunbar 
appears to me monstrous. ... To march off all the 
regulars, and leave the fort and frontiers to be 
defended by four hundred sick and wounded, and 
the poor remains of our provincial forces, appears 
to me absurd."^ 

He found some comfort from the burgesses, who 
gave him forty thousand pounds, and would, he 
thinks, have given a hundred thousand if another 
attempt against Fort Duquesne had been set afoot. 
Shirley, too, whom the death of Braddock had made 
commander-in-chief, approved the governor's pl^n of 
renewing offensive operations, and instructed Dunbar 
to that effect; ordering him, however, should they 
prove impracticable, to march for Albany in aid of 
the Niagara expedition.^ The order found him safe 

^ Dinwiddle's view of Dunbar's conduct Is fully justified by th« 
letters of Shirley, Ooyemor Morris, and Dunbar himself. 

s Ordert for CoUmel Thonuu Dunbar, 12 Augutt, 1766. These 
VOL. I. — 16 

242 BRADDOCE. [170& 

in Philadelphia. Here he lingered for a while; then 
marched to join the northern army, moving at a pace 
which made it certain that he could not arrive in 
time to be of the least use. 

Thus the frontier was left unguarded; and soon, 
as Dinwiddle had foreseen, there burst upon it a 
storm of blood and fire. 

fluperaede a preyious order of August 6, by which Shirley had 
directed Dunhar to march northward at once. 




Statb or AoADiA. — Thbeatenbd Intasion. «• PSRiL or THE Emo. 
li8h: thsib Pulks. — French Fobts to be attacked.— 
BsAUstjouB Aim IT8 OccuPANTS. — Fbbnch Tbeatmsnt of the 
AcADLANS. — John Winslow. — Siege and Captubb or BsAusi- 
jouB. — Attitude of Acadians. — Influence of thbib Pbissts : 


BsFUSAL. — Enemies ob Subjects 1 — Choice of the Acadi- 
▲NS. — The Consequence. — Treib Bemoyal Dstebmined. — 
WnrsLOw at Gband Pui. — Conference with Murray. — 
Summons to the Inhabitants: their Seizure; their 
Embarkation ; their Fate ; their Treatment in Cajtada. 
misafprehension concerning them. 

By the plan which the Duke of Cumberland had 
ordained and Braddock had announced in the Council 
at Alexandria, four blows were to be struck at once 
to force back the French boundaries, lop oS the 
dependencies of Canada, and reduce her from a vast 
territory to a petty province. The first stroke had 
failed, and had shattered the hand of the striker; it 
remains to see what fortune awaited the others. 

It was long since a project of purging Acadia of 
French influence had germinated in the fertile mind 
of Shirley. We have seen in a former chapter the 


condition of that afflicted province. Several thou- 
sands of its inhabitants, wrought upon by intriguing 
agents of the French government; taught by their 
priests that fidelity to King Louis was inseparable 
from fidelity to God, and that to swear allegiance to 
the British Crown was eternal perdition ; threatened 
with plunder and death at the hands of the savages 
whom the ferocious missionary, Le Loutre, held over 
them in terror, — had abandoned, sometimes willingly, 
but oftener under constraint, the fields which they 
and their fathers had tilled, and crossing the boundary 
line of the Missaguash, had placed themselves under 
the French flag planted on the hill of Beausdjour.^ 
Here, or in the neighborhood, many of them had 
remained, wretched and half starved; while others 
had been transported to Cape Breton, Isle St. 
Jean, or the coasts of the Gulf, — not so far, how- 
ever, that they could not on occasion be used to aid 
in an invasion of British Acadia.^ Those of their 
countrymen who stiU Uved under the Britdsh flag 
were chiefly the inhabitants of the district of Mines 
and of the valley of the river Annapolis, who, with 

1 See anU, Chapter IV. 

* Rameaa (La France aux Ct^onies, i. 03) estimates the total 
emigration from 1748 to 1766 at 8)600 souls, — which number seems 
much too large. This writer, though vehemently anti-English, 
gives the following passage from a letter of a high French official : 
" que les Acadiens e'migr^s et en grande mis^re comptaient se retirer 
k Qu^ec et demander des terres, mais il conviendrait mieuz qu'ils 
restent oh ils sont, afin d'avoir le voisinage de I'Acadie bien peupld 
et d^frich^, pour appro visionner Tlsle Royale [Cape Breton] et 
tomber en cas de guerre sur I'Acadie." Rameau, i. 133. 


other less important settlements, numbered a little 
more than nine thousand souls. We have shown 
already, by the evidence of the French themselves, 
that neither they nor their emigrant countrymen had 
been oppressed or molested in matters temporal or 
spiritual, but that the English authorities, recogniz- 
ing their value as an industrious population, had 
labored to reconcile them to a change of rulers which 
on the whole was to their advantage. It has been 
shown also how, with a heartless perfidy and a reck- 
less disregard of their welfare and safety, the French 
government and its agents labored to keep them 
hostile to the Crown of which it had acknowledged 
them to be subjects. The result was, that though 
they did not, like their emigrant countrymen, abandon 
their homes, they remained in a state of restless dis- 
affection, refused to supply English garrisons with 
provisions, except at most exorbitant rates, smuggled 
their produce to the French across the line, gave 
them aid and intelligence, and sometimes, disguised 
as Indians, robbed and murdered English settlers. 
By the new-fangled construction of the treaty of 
Utrecht which the French boundary commissioners 
had devised,^ more than half the Acadian peninsula, 
including nearly all the cultivated land and nearly all 
the population of French descent, was claimed as 
belonging to France, though England had held pos- 
session of it more than forty years. Hence, accord- 
ing to the political ethics adopted at the time by 

1 Supra, p. 128. 


both nations, it would be lawful for France to reclaim 
it by force. England, on her part, it will be remem- 
bered, claimed vast tracts beyond the isthmus ; and, 
on the same pretext, held that she might rightfully 
seize them and capture Beaus^jour, with the other 
French garrisons that guarded them. 

On the part of France, an invasion of the Acadian 
peninsula seemed more than likely. Honor demanded 
of her that, having incited the Acadians to disaffec- 
tion, and so brought on them the indignation of the 
English authorities, she should intervene to save 
them from the consequences. Moreover, the loss of 
the Acadian peninsula had been gall and wormwood 
to her; and in losing it she had lost great material 
advantages. Its possession was necessary to connect 
Canada with the Island of Cape Breton and the 
fortress of Louisbourg. Its fertile fields and agri- 
cultural people would furnish subsistence to the 
troops and garrisons in the French maritime prov- 
inces, now dependent on supplies illicitly brought by 
New England traders, and liable to be cut off in time 
of war when they were needed most. The harbors 
of Acadia, too, would be invaluable as naval stations 
from which to curb and threaten the northern Eng- 
lish colonies. Hence the intrigues so assiduously 
practised to keep the Acadians French at heart, and 
ready to throw off British rule at any favorable 
moment. British officers believed that should a 
French squadron with a sufficient force of troops on 
board appear in the Bay of Fundy, the whole popu- 


lation on the Basin of Mines and along the Annapolis 
would rise in arms, and that the emigrants beyond 
the isthmus, armed and trained by French officers, 
would come to their aid. This emigrant population, 
famishing in exile, looked back with regret to the 
farms they had abandoned; and, prevented as they 
were by Le Loutre and his colleagues from making 
their peace with the English, they would, if confident 
of success, have gladly joined an invading force to 
regain their homes by reconquering Acadia for Louis 
XV. In other parts of the continent it was the 
interest of France to put off hostilities; if Acadia 
alone had been in question, it would have been her 
interest to precipitate them. 

Her chances of success were good. The French 
could at any time send troops from Louisbourg or 
Quebec to join those maintained upon the isthmus; 
and they had on their side of the lines a force of 
militia and Indians amounting to about two thou* 
sand, while the Acadians within the peninsula had 
about an equal number of fighting men who, while 
calling themselves neutrals, might be counted on to 
join the invaders. The English were in no condition 
to withstand such an attack. Their regular troops 
were scattered far and wide through the province, 
and were nowhere more than equal to the local 
requirement ; while of militia, except those of Halifax, 
they had few or none whom they dared to trust. 
Their fort at Annapolis was weak and dilapidated, 
and their other posts were mere stockades. The 


strongest place in Acadia was the French fort of 
Beaus^jour, in which the English saw a continual 

Their apprehensions were well grounded. Du- 
quesne, governor of Canada, wrote to Le Loutre, 
who virtually shared the control of Beaus^jour with 
Vergor, its conunandant: ^^I invite both yourself 
and M. Vergor to devise a plausible pretext for 
attacking them [the English] vigorously."* Three 
weeks after this letter was written, Lawrence, gov- 
ernor of Nova Scotia, wrote to Shirley from Halifax: 
^ Being well informed that the French have designs 
of encroaching still farther upon His Majesty's rights 
in this province, and that they propose, the moment 
they have repaired the fortifications of Louisbourg, 
to attack our fort at Chignecto [Fort Lawrence]^ I 
think it high time to make some effort to drive them 
from the north side of the Bay of Fundy."' This 
letter was brought to Boston by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Monckton, who was charged by Lawrence to propose 
to Shirley the raising of two thousand men in New 
England for the attack of Beausdjour and its depend- 
ent forts. Almost at the moment when Lawrence 
was writing these proposals to Shirley, Shirley was 
writing with the same object to Lawrence, enclosing 
a letter from Sir Thomas Robinson, concerning which 
he said: ^^I construe the contents to be orders to us 

^ Duquesne h Le Loutre, 15 Octobre, 1754; extract in Public Doew 
wmnti of Nova Scotia, 239. 

* Lawrence to Shirley, 5 November, 1754. Instructions of Lawrencm 
to Monckton, 7 November, 1754. 

1755.] ROBINSON'S LETTER. 249 

to act in concert for taking any advantages to drive 
the French of Canada out of Nova Scotia. If that is 
jour sense of them, and your honor will be pleased 
to let me know whether you want any and what 
assistance to enable you to execute the orders, I will 
endeavor to send you such assistance from iins 
province as you shall want."* 

The letter of Sir Thomas Robinson, of which a 
duplicate had already been sent to Lawrence, was 
written in answer to one of Shirley informing the 
minister that the Indians of Nova Scotia, prompted 
by the French, were about to make an attack on all 
the English settlements east of the Kennebec; 
whereupon Robinson wrote: "You will without 
doubt have g^ven immediate intelligence thereof to 
Colonel Lawrence, and will have concerted the proper- 
est measures with him for taking all possible advan- 
tage in Nova Scotia itself from the absence of those 
Indians, in case Mr. Lawrence shall have force 
enough to attack the forts erected by the French in 
those parts, without exposing the English settle- 
ments; and I am particularly to acquaint you that 
if you have not already entered into such a concert 
with Colonel Lawrence, it is His Majesty's pleasure 
that you should immediately proceed thereupon."' 

The Indian raid did not take place ; but not the 
less did Shirley and Lawrence find in the minister's 
letter their authorization for the attack of Beaus^ jour. 

1 Shirlejf to Lawrence, 7 November, 1764. 
* Robinson to Shirley, 6 July, 1764. 


Shirley wrote to Robinson that the expulsion of the 
French from the forts on the isthmus was a necessary 
measure of self-defence; that they meant to seize the 
whole country as far as Mines Basin, and probably as 
&r as Annapolis, to supply their Acadian rebels 
with land; that of these they had, without reckoning 
Indians, foiirteen hundred fighting men on or near 
the isthmus, and two hundred and fifty more on the 
St. John, with whom, aided by the garrison of 
Beaus^jour, they could easily take Fort Lawrence; 
that should they succeed in this, the whole Acadian 
population would rise in arms, and the King would 
lose Nova Scotia. We should anticipate them, con- 
cludes Shirley, and strike the first blow.^ 

He opened his plans to his Assembly in secret 
session, and found them of one mind with himself. 
Preparation was nearly complete, and the men laised 
for the expedition, before the Council at Alexandria 
recognized it as a part of a plan of the summer 

The French fort of Beaus^jour, mounted on its 

^ Shirley to Robinson, 8 December, 1754. Ibid., 24 January, 1755. 
The Becord Office contains numerous other letters of Shirlej on 
the subject. " 1 am obliged to your Honor for communicating to 
me the French M^moire, which, with other reasons, puts it out of 
doubt that the French are determined to begin an offensire war on 
the peninsula as soon as erer they shall think themselves strength- 
ened enough to renture upon it, and that they hare thoughts of 
attempting it in the ensuing spring. I enclose your Honor extracts 
from two letters from Annapolis Royal, which show that the 
French inhabitants are in expectation of its being begun in the 
spring." — Shirley to Lawrence, 6 January, 1765. 

1765.] BEAUS&rOUR. 261 

hill between the marshes of Missaguash and Tantemar, 
was a regular work, pentagonal in form, with soUd 
earthen ramparts, bomb-proofs, and an armament of 
twenty-four cannon and one mortar. The command- 
ant, Duchambon de Vergor, a captain in the colony 
regulars, was a dull man of no education, of stuttering 
speech, unpleasing countenance, and doubtful char- 
acter. He owed his place to the notorious intendant 
Bigot, who, it is said, was in his debt for disreputable 
«,rvice in an affair of gallantry, and who had ample 
means of enabling his friends to enrich themselves by 
defrauding the King. Beaus^jour was one of those 
plague-spots of official corruption which dotted the 
whole surface of New France. Bigot, sailing for 
Europe in the summer of 1754, wrote thus to his 
confederate: "Profit by your place, my dear Vergor; 
clip and cut — you are free to do what you please—- 
so that you can come soon to join me in France and 
buy an estate near me.'*^ Vergor did not neglect 
his opportunities. Supplies in great quantities were 
sent from Quebec for the garrison and the emigrant 
Acadians. These last got but a small part of them. 
Vergor and his confederates sent the rest back to 
Quebec, or else to Louisbourg, and sold them for 
their own profit to the King's agents there, who were 
also in collusion with him. 

Vergor, however, did not reign alone. Le Loutre, 

> Mimoirtt iur U Canada, 1749-1760. This letter is also men- 
tioned in another contemporary document M4moire sur lee Fraudei 
eommiMet dan$ la CoUmU. 


by force of energy, capacity, and passionate vehe* 
mence, held him in some awe, and divided his author- 
ity. The priest could count on the support of 
Duquesne, who had found, says a contemporary, 
that ^' he promised more than he could perform, and 
that he was a knave," but who nevertheless felt 
compelled to rely upon him for keeping the Acadians 
on the side of France. There was another person in 
the fort worthy of notice. This was Thomas Pichon, 
commissary of stores, a man of education and intelli* 
gence, bom in France of an English mother. He 
was now acting the part of a traitor, carrying on a 
secret correspondence with the commandant of Fort 
Lawrence, and acquainting him with all that passed 
at Beaus^jour. It was partly from this source that 
the hostile designs of the French became known to 
the authorities of Halifax, and more especially the 
proceedings of "Moses," by which name Pichon 
always designated Le Loutre, because he pretended 
to have led the Acadians from the land of bondage.^ 

These exiles, who cannot be called self-exiled, in 
view of the outrageous means used to force most of 
them from their homes, were in a deplorable condi- 
tion. They lived in constant dread of Le Loutre, 
backed by Vergor and his soldiers. The savage mis- 
sionary, bad as he was, had in him an ingredient of 

^ Pichon, caUed also TyrreU from the name of hii mother, was 
author of Genuine Letters and Memoirs relating to Cape Breton, — a 
book of some ralue. His papers are preserred at Halifax, and 
some of them are printed in^e Public Documents of Nova Scotia, 


honest fanaticism, both national and religious ; though 
hatred of the English held a large share in it. He 
would gladly, if he could, have formed the Acadians 
into a permanent settlement on the French side of 
the line, not out of love for them, but in the interest 
of the cause with which he had identified his own 
ambition. His efforts had failed. There was not 
land enough for their subsistence and that of the 
older settlers; and the suffering emigrants pined 
more and more for their deserted farms. Thither he 
was resolved that they should not return. "If you 
go," he told them, "you will have neither priests nor 
sacraments, but will die like miserable wretches."^ 
The assertion was false. Priests and sacraments 
had never been denied them. It is true that Daudin, 
priest of Pisiquid, had lately been sent to Halifax 
for using insolent language to the commandant, 
threatening him with an insurrection of the inhab- 
itants, and exciting them to sedition; but on his 
promise to change conduct, he was sent back to his 
parishioners.^ Veigor sustained Le Loutre, and 
threatened to put in irons any of the exiles who 
talked of going back to the English. Some of them 
bethought themselves of an appeal to Duquesne, and 
drew up a petition asking leave to return home. Le 
Loutre told the signers that if they did not efface 
their marks from the paper they should have neithei 

1 Pichon to Captain Scott, 14 October, 1764, in Public Documents cf 
^ova Scotia, 229. 

> Public Documents of Nova Scotia, 223, 224, 226, 227, 288. 


socramentB in this life, nor heaven in the next. He 
nevertheless allowed two of them to go to Quebec as 
deputies, writing at the same time to the governor, 
that his mind might be duly prepared. Duquesne 
replied: ^^I think that the two rascals of deputies 
whom you sent me will not soon recover from the 
fright I gave them, notwithstanding the emollient I 
administered after my reprimand; and since I told 
them that they were indebted to you for not being 
allowed to rot in a dungeon, they have promised me 
to comply with your wishes." ^ 

An entire heartlessness marked the dealings of the 
French authorities with the Acadians. They were 
treated as mere tools of policy, to be used, broken, 
and flung away. Yet, in using them, the sole condi- 
tion of their efficiency was neglected. The French 
government, cheated of enormous sums by its own 
ravenous agents, grudged the cost of sending a single 
regiment to the Acadian border. Thus unsupported, 
the Acadians remained in fear and vacillation, aiding 
the French but feebly, though a ceaseless annoyance 
and menace to the English. 

This was the state of affairs at Beaus^jour while 
Shirley and Lawrence were planning its destruction. 
Lawrence had empowered his agent, Monckton, to 
draw without limit on two Boston merchants, 
Apthorp and Hancock. Shirley, as commander-in- 
chief of the province of Massachusetts, commissioned 
John Winslow to raise two thousand volunteers. 

I Public Documents of Nova Scotia, 289. 

17M.] JOHN wmsLOW. 266 

Winslow was sprung from the early govemors of 
Plymouth colony; but, though well-bom, he was 
ill-educated, which did not prevent him from being 
both popular and influential. He had strong military 
inclinations, had led a company of his own raising 
in the luckless attack on Carthagena, had commanded 
the force sent in the preceding summer to occupy 
the Kennebec, and on various other occasions had 
left his Marshfield farm to serve his country. The 
men enlisted readily at his call, and were formed into 
a regiment, of which Shirley made himself the 
nominal colonel. It had two battalions, of which 
Winslow, as lieutenant-colonel, commanded the first, 
and George Scott the second, both under the orders 
of Monckton. Country villages far and near, from 
the western borders of the Connecticut to uttermost 
Cape Cod, lent soldiers to the new regiment. The 
muster-rolls preserve their names, vocations, birth- 
places, and abode. Obadiah, Nehemiah, Jedediah, 
Jonathan, Ebenezer, Joshua, and the like Old Testa- 
ment names abound upon the list. Some are set 
down as "farmers," "yeomen," or "husbandmen;" 
others as "shopkeepers," others as "fishermen," and 
many as "laborers;" while a great number were 
handicraftsmen of various trades, from blacksmiths 
to wig-makers. They mustered at Boston early in 
April, where clothing, haversacks, and blankets were 
served out to them at the charge of the King; and 
the crooked streets of the New £ngland capital were 
filled with staring young rustics. On the next 


Saturday the following mandate went forth: ^^The 
men will behave very orderly on the Sabbath Day, 
and either stay on board their transports, or else go 
to church, and not stroll up and down the streets." 
The transports, consisting of about forty sloops and 
schooners, lay at Long Wharf; and here on Monday 
a grand review took place, — to the gratification, no 
doubt, of a populace whose amusements were few. 
All was ready except the muskets, which were 
expected from England, but did not come. Hence 
the delay of a month, threatening to ruin the enter- 
prise. When Shirley returned from Alexandria he 
found, to his disgust, that the transports still lay at 
the wharf where he had left them on his departure.^ 
The muskets arrived at length, and the fleet sailed 
on the twenty-second of May. Three small frigates, 
the "Success," the "Mermaid," and the "Siren," 
commanded by the ex-privateeisman. Captain Rous, 
acted as convoy; and on the twenty-sixth the whole 
force safely reached Annapolis. Thence after some 
delay they sailed up the Bay of Fundy, and at sunset 
on the first of June anchored within five miles of the 
hill of Beaus^jour. 

At two o'clock on the next morning a party of 
Acadians from Chipody roused Vergor with the news. 
In great alarm, he sent a messenger to Louisbourg to 
beg for help, and ordered all the fighting men of the 
neighborhood to repair to the fort. They counted in 

1 Shirley to Robinson, 20 June, 1766. 


all "between twelve and fifteen hundred;^ but they 
had no appetite for war. The force of the invaders 
daunted them; and the hundred and sixty regulars 
who formed the garrison of Beaus^jour were too few 
to revive their confidence. Those of them who had 
crossed from the English side dreaded what might 
ensue should they be caught in arms ; and, to prepare 
an excuse beforehand, they begged Vergor to threaten 
them with punishment if they disobeyed his order. 
He willingly complied, promised to have them killed 
if they did not fight, and assured them at the same 
time that the English could never take the fort.' 
Three hundred of them thereupon joined the garri- 
son, and the rest, hiding their families in the woods, 
prepared to wage guerilla war against the invaders. 

Monckton, with all his force, landed unopposed, 
and encamped at night on the fields around Fort 
Lawrence, whence he could contemplate Fort Beau- 
s^jour at his ease. The regulars of the English gar- 
rison joined the New England men; and then, on 
the morning of the fourth, they marched to the 
attack. Their course lay along the south bcuik of 
the Missaguash to where it was crossed by a bridge 
called Font-^-Buot. This bridge had been destroyed ; 
and on the farther bank there was a large block- 
house and a breastwork of timber defended by four 

* Mhnoires sur U Canada, 1749-1700. An English document, 
State of the English and French Forts in Nova Scotia, says 1,200 to 

« M€moires sur le Canada, 1749-1700. 
TOL. I. — 17 


hundred regulars, Acadians, and Indians. They 
lay silent and unseen till the head of the column 
reached the opposite bank; then raised a yell and 
opened fire, ca^g some loss. Three field-pieces 
were brought up, the defenders were driven out, and 
a bridge was laid under a spattering fusillade from 
behind bushes, which continued till the English had 
crossed the stream. Without further opposition, 
they marched along the road to Beaus^jour, and, 
turning to the right, encamped among the woody 
hills half a leagpie from the fort. That night there 
was a grand illumination, for Vergor set fire to the 
church and all the houses outside the ramparts.^ 

The English spent some days in preparing their 
camp and reconnoitring the groimd. Then Scott, 
with five himdred provincials, seized upon a ridge 
within easy range of the works. An officer named 
Vannes came out to oppose him with a hundred and 
eighty men, boasting that he would do great things ; 
but on seeing the enemy, quietly returned, to become 
the laughing-stock of the garrison. The fort fired 
furiously, but with little effect. In the night of the 
thirteenth, Winslow, with a part of his own battalion, 
relieved Scott, and planted in the trenches two small 
mortars, brought to the camp on carts. On the next 
day they opened fire. One of them was disabled by 
the French cannon, but Captain Hazen brought up 

1 Winslow, Journal and Letter Book, M€moiree sur le Canada^ 
1749-1760. Letters from officers on the spot in Boston Evening Poet 
and Boston News Letter, Journal of Surgeon John Thomas, 

1755.] SIEGE OF BEAUS£JOUR. 259 

two more, of larger size, on ox-wagons; and, in 
spite of heavy rain, the fire was brisk on both sides. 

Captain Rous, on board his ship in the harbor, 
watched the bombardment with great interest. Hav- 
ing occasion to write to Winslow, he closed his letter 
in a facetious strain. ^^I often hear of your success 
in plunder, particularly a coach. ^ I hope you have 
some fine horses for it, at least four, to draw it, that 
it may be said a New England colonel [rode in] his 
coach and four in Nova Scotia. If you have any 
good saddle-horses in your stable, I should be obliged 
to you for one to ride round the ship's deck on for 
exercise, for I am not likely to have any other." 

Within the fort there was little promise of a strong 
defence. Le Loutre, it is true, was to be seen in his 
shirt-sleeves, with a pipe in his mouth, directing the 
Acadians in their work of strengthening the fortifica- 
tions.^ They, on their part, thought more of escape 
than 6t fighting. Some of them vainly begged to be 
allowed to go home ; others went off without leave, 
— which was not difficult, as only one side of the 
place was attacked. Even among the officers there 
were some in whom interest was stronger than honor, 
and who would rather rob the King than die for him. 
The general discouragement was redoubled when, on 
the fourteenth, a letter came from the commandant 

^ " 11 Jane. Capt. Adams went with a Company of Raingers, 
and Returned at 11 Clock with a Coach and Sum other Plunder.'' 
•• Journal of John Thomas, 

* Journal ofPichon, cited by Beamish Murdoch. 


of Louisbourg to say that he could send no help, as 
British ships blocked the way. On the morning of 
the sixteenth, a mischance befell, recorded in these 
words in the Diary of Surgeon John Thomas : " One 
of our large shells fell through what they called their 
bomb-proof, where a number of their officers were 
sitting, killed six of them dead, and one Ensign Hay, 
which the Indians had took prisoner a few days agone 
and carried to the fort." The party was at breakfast 
when the unwelcome visitor burst in. Just opposite 
was a second bomb-proof, where was Vergor himself, 
with Le Loutre, another priest, and several officers, 
who felt that they might at any time share the same 
fate. The effect was immediate. The English, 
who had not yet got a single cannon into position, 
saw to their surprise a white flag raised on the ram- 
part. Some officers of the garrison protested against 
surrender; and Le Loutre, who thought that he had 
everything to fear at the hands of the victors, 
exclaimed that it was better to be buried under the 
ruins of the fort than to give it up; but all was in 
vain, and the valiant Vannes was sent out to propose 
terms of capitulation. They were rejected, and 
others offered, to the following effect: the garrison 
to march out with the honors of war and to be sent 
to Louisbourg at the charge of the King of England, 
but not to bear arms in America for the space of six 
months; the Acadians to be pardoned the part they 
had just borne in the defence, "seeing that they had 
been compelled to take arms on pain of death.'' 

1765.] FLIGHT OF LE LOUTRE. 261 

Confasion reigned all day at Beaus^joui. • The 
Acadians went home loaded with plunder. The 
French officers were so busy in drinking and pUlag. 
ing that they could hardly be got away to sign the 
capitulation. At the appointed hour, seven in the 
evening, Scott marched in with a body of provincials, 
raised the British flag on the ramparts, and saluted 
it by a general discharge of the French cannon, while 
Vergor as a last act of hospitality gave a supper to 
the officers.^ 

Le Loutre was not to be found ; he had escaped in 
disguise with his box of papers, and fled to Baye 
Verte to join his brother missionary, Manach. 
Thence he made his way to Quebec, where the 
bishop received him with reproaches. He sooii 
embarked for France ; but the English captured him 
on the way, and kept him eight years in Elizabeth 
Castle, on the Island of Jersey. Here on one occa- 
sion a soldier on guard made a dash at the father, 
tried to stab him with his bayonet, and was prevented 
with great difficulty. He declared that, when he was 
with his regiment in Acadia, he had fallen into the 
hands of Le Loutre, and narrowly escaped being 
scalped alive, the missionary having doomed him to 
this fate, and with his own hand drawn a knife round 
his head as a beginning of the operation. The man 
swore so fiercely that he would have his revenge 

^ On the capture of BeauB^jour, M^moires sur U Canada, 1749« 
1760 ; Fichon, Cape Breton, 318 ; Journal of Pichon, cited by Mar 
doch ; and the English accounts already mentioned 


that the officer in command transferred him to 
another post.^ 

Throughout the siege, the Acadians outside the 
fort, aided by Indians, had constantly attacked the 
English, but were always beaten off with loss. There 
was an affair of this kind on the morning of the sur- 
render, during which a noted Micmac chief was shot, 
and being brought into the camp, recounted the 
losses of his tribe; ^^ after which, and taking a dram 
or two, he quickly died," writes Winslow in his 

Fort Gaspereau, at Baye Vei*te, twelve miles 
distant, was summoned by letter to surrender. Vil- 
leray, its commandant, at once complied; and 
Winslow went with a detachment to take possession.^ 
Nothing remained but to occupy the French post at 
the mouth of the St. John. Captain Rous, relieved 
at last from inactivity, was charged with the task; 
and on the thirtieth he appeared off the harbor, 
manned his boats, and rowed for shore. The French 
burned their fort, and withdrew beyond his reach.' 
A hundred and fifty Indians, suddenly converted 
from enemies to pretended friends, stood on the 
strand, firing their guns into the air as a salute, and 
declaring themselves brothers of the English. All 
Acadia was now in British hands. Fort Beaus^jour 

1 Knox, Campaigns in North America, i. 114, note, Knox, who 
waa stationed in Nova Scotia, says that Le Loutre left behind him 
" a most remarkable character for inhumanity." 

* Winslow, Journal, Villeray au 3fimstre, 20 Septembre, 1756. 

* Dnicowr au Ministre^ I D€cemhre, 1765. 


became Fort Cumberland, — the second fort in 
America that bore the name of the royal duke. 

The defence had been of the feeblest. Two years 
later, on pressing demands from Versailles, Vergor 
was brought to trial, as was also Villeray. The 
governor, Vaudreuil, and the intendant. Bigot, who 
had returned to Canada, were in the interest of the 
chief defendant. The court-martial was packed; 
adverse evidence was shuffled out of sight; and 
Vergor, acquitted and restored to his rank, lived to 
inflict on New France another and a greater injury.^ 

Now began the first act of a deplorable drama. 
Monckton, with his small body of regulars, had 
pitched their tents under the walls of Beaus^jour. 
Winslow and Scott, with the New England troops, 
lay not far off. There was little intercourse between 
the two camps. The British officers bore themselves 
towards those of the provincials with a supercilious 
coldness common enough on their part throughout 
the war. July had passed in what Winslow calls 
"an indolent manner," with prayers every day in the 
Puritan camp, when, early in August, Monckton sent 
for him, and made an ominous declaration. "The 
said Monckton was so free as to acquaint me that it 
was determined to remove all the French inhabitants 
out of the province, and that he should send for all 
the adult males from Tantemar, Chipody, Aulac, 
Beaus^jour, and Baye Verte to read the Governor's 

^ M€moire tur Its Fraudes commiies dans la Colanie, 1779. M^ 
moires sur U Canada, 1749-1760. 


orders; and when that was done, was determined to 
retain them all prisoners in the fort. And this is 
the first conference of a public nature I have had 
with the colonel since the reduction of Beausdjour; 
and I apprehend that no officer of either corps has 
been made more free with." 

Monckton sent accordingly to all the neighboring 
settlements, commanding the male inhabitants to 
meet him at Beaus^jour. Scarcely a third part of 
their number obeyed. These arrived on the tenth, 
and were told to stay all night under the guns of the 
fort. What then befell them will appear from an 
entry in the diary of Winslow under date of August 
eleventh: "This day was one extraordinary to the 
inhabitants of Tantemar, Oueskak, Aulac, Baye 
Verte, Beaus^jour, and places adjacent; the male 
inhabitants, or the principal of them, being collected 
together in Fort Cumberland to hear the sentence, 
which determined their property, from the Governoi 
and Council of Halifax; which was that they were 
declared rebels, their lands, goods, and chattels for- 
feited to the Crown, and their bodies to be imprisoned. 
Upon which the gates of the fort were shut, and they 
all confined, to the amount of four hundred men and 
upwards." Parties were sent to gather more, but 
caught very few, the rest escaping to the woods. 

Some of the prisoners were no doubt among those 
who had joined the garrison at Beaus^jour, and had 
been pardoned for doing so by the terms of the 
capitulation. It was held, however, that, though 

1755.] ITS MOTIVES. 266 

foTgiven this special offence, they were not exempted 
from the doom that had gone forth against the great 
body of their countrymen. We must look closely at 
the motives and execution of this stem sentence. 

At any time up to the spring of 1755 the emigrant 
Acadians were free to return to their homes on tak- 
ing the ordinary oath of aUegiance required of British 
subjects. The English authorities of Halifax used 
every means to persuade them to do so; yet the 
greater part refused. This was due not only to Le 
Loutre and his brother priests, backed by the mili-* 
tary power, but also to the bishop of Quebec, who 
enjoined the Acadians to demand of the English cer- 
tain concessions, the chief of which were that the 
priests should exercise their functions without being 
required to ask leave of the governor, and that the 
inhabitants should not be called upon for military 
service of any kind. The bishop added that the 
provisions of the treaty of Utrecht were insufficient, 
and that others ought to be exacted.^ The oral 
declaration of the English authorities, that for the 
present the Acadians should not be required to bear 
arms, was not thought enough. They, or rather 
their prompters, demanded a written pledge. 

The refusal to take the oath without reservation 
was not confined to the emigrants. Those who 
remained in the peninsula equally refused it, though 
most of them were bom and had always lived under 

1 VSveque de QuSbec a Le Loutre, Novembre, 1754, in Public Doeu 
Mfi/« of Nova Scotia, 2i0. 


the British flag. Far from pledging themselyes to 
complete allegiance, they showed continual signs of 
hostility. In May three pretended French deserters 
were detected among them inciting them to take 
arms against the English.^ 

On the capture of Beaus^jour the British authori- 
ties found themselyes in a position of great difficulty. 
The New England troops were enlisted for the year 
only, and could not be kept in Acadia. It was likely 
that the French would make a strong effort to recover 
the province, sure as they were of support from the 
great body of its people. The presence of this dis- 
affected population was for the French commanders a 
continual inducement to invasion; and Lawrence 
was not strong enough to cope at once with attack 
from without and insurrection from within. 

Shirley had held for some time that there was no 
safety for Acadia but in ridding it of the Acadians. 
He had lately proposed that the lands of the district 
of Chignecto, abandoned by their emigrant owners, 
should be given to English settlers, who would act 
as a check and a counterpoise to the neighboring 
French population. This advice had not been acted 
upon. Nevertheless Shirley and his brother governor 
of Nova Scotia were kindred spirits, and incliired to 
similar measures. Colonel Charles Lawrence had 
not the good-nature and conciliatory temper which 
marked his predecessors, Comwallis and Hopson. 
His energetic will was not apt to relent under the 

* VSv€que de Quebec h Le Loutre, Novembre, 1754, in Public Doo 
uments of Nova Scotia, 242. 


softer sentimentB, and the behavior of the Acadiana 
was fast exhausting his patience. More than a year 
before, the Lords of Trade had instructed him that 
they had no right to their lands if they persisted in 
refusing the oath.^ Lawrence replied, enlarging on 
their obstinacy, treachery, and ^^ingratitude for the 
favor, indulgence, and protection they have at all 
times so undeservedly received from His Majesty's 
Government;" declaring at the same time that, 
^whUe they remain without taking the oaths, and 
have incendiary French priests among them, there 
are no hopes of their amendment;" and that ^it 
would be much better, if they refuse the oaths, that 
they were away."^ ''We were in hopes," again 
wrote the Lords of Trade, *'that the lenity which 
had been shown to those people by indulging them 
in the free exercise of their religion and the quiet 
possession of their lands, would by degrees have 
gained their friendship and assistance, and weaned 
their affections from the French; but we are sorry to 
find that this lenity has had so little effect, and that 
they still hold the same conduct, furnishing them 
with labor, provisions, and intelligence, and conceal- 
ing their designs from us." In fact, the Acadians, 
while calling themselves neutrals, were an enemy 
encamped in the heart of the province. These are 
the reasons which explain and palliate a measure too 
harsh and indiscriminate to be wholly justified. 
Abb^ Raynal, who never saw the Acadians, has 

^ Lords of Trade to Lawrence, 4 March, 1754. 
< Lawrence to Lords of Trade, 1 Atigutt, 1764. 


made an ideal picture of them,^ since copied and 
improved in prose and verse, till Acadia has become 
Arcadia. The plain realities of their condition and 
fate are touching enough to need no exaggeration. 
They were a simple and very ignorant peasantry, 
industrious and frugal till evil days came to discour* 
age them ; living aloof from the world, with little of 
that spirit of adventure which an easy access to the 
vast fur-bearing interior had developed in their 
Canadian kindred; having few wants, and those of 
the rudest; fishing a little and hunting in the winter,^ 
but chiefly employed in cultivating the meadows 
along the river Annapolis, or rich marshes reclaimed 
by dikes from the tides of the Bay of Fundy. The 
British government left them entirely free of taxa- 
tion. They made clothing of flax and wool of their 
own raising, hats of similar materials, and shoes or 
moccasons of moose and seal skin. They bred cattle, 
sheep, hogs, and horses in abundance ; and the valley 
of the Annapolis, tlien as now, was known for the 
profusion and excellence of its apples. For drink, 
they made cider or brewed spruce-beer. French 
officials describe their dwellings as wretched wooden 
boxes, without ornaments or conveniences, and 
scarcely supplied with the most necessary furniture.' 
Two or more families often occupied the same house; 
and their way of life, though simple and virtuous, 

1 HitUtirt philosophigue et politique, yi. 242 (ed. 1772). 
* Bwytkamoii et Hocguart au ComU de Maurepas, 12 Septemhr^, 

1755.] THEIR CHARACTER. 269 

was by no means remarkable for cleanliness. Such 
as it was, contentment reigned among tbem, undis- 
turbed by what modem America calls progress. 
Marriages were early, and population grew apace. 
This humble society had its disturbing elements ; for 
the Acadians, like the Canadians, were a litigious *- 
race, and neighbors often quarrelled about their 
boundaries. Nor were they without a bountiful 
share of jealousy, gossip, and backbiting, to relieve 
the monotony of their lives ; and every village had its 
turbulent spirits, sometimes by fits, though rarely 
long, contumacious even toward the cur^, the guide, 
counsellor, and ruler of his flock. Enfeebled by 
hereditary mental subjection, and too long kept in 
leading-strings to walk alone, they needed him, not 
for the next world only, but for this; and their 8ul>- 
mission, compounded of love and fear, was commonly 
without bounds. He was their true government; to 
him they gave a frank and full allegiance, and dared 
not disobey him if they would. Of knowledge he 
gave them nothing ; but he taught them to be true to 
their wives and constant at confession and mass, 
to stand fast for the Church and King Louis, and to 
resist heresy and King George ; for, in one degree or 
another, the Acadian priest was always the agent 
of a double-headed foreign power, — the bishop of 
Quebec allied with the governor of Canada.^ 
When Monckton and the Massachusetts men laid 

1 Franquet, Journal ^ 1751, says of the Acadians: "Us aiment 
Targent, n'ont dans toute leur conduite que leur inUrdt ponr objet, 


siege to Beaus^jour, Governor Lawrence thought the 
moment favorable for exacting an unqualified oath of 
allegiance from the Acadians. The presence of a 
superior and victorious force would help, he thought, 
to bring them to reason; and there were some indica- 
tions that this would be the result. A number of 
Acadian families, who at the promptings of Le Loutre 
had emigrated to Cape Breton, had lately returned 
to Halifax, promising to be true subjects of King 
George if they could be allowed to repossess their 
lands. They cheerfuUy took the oath; on which 
they were reinstated in their old homes, and supplied 
with food for the winter.^ Their example unfortu- 
nately foimd few imitators. 

Early in June the principal inhabitants of Grand 
Pr^ and other settlements about the Basin of Mines 
brought a memorial, signed with their crosses, to 
Captain Murray, the military commandant in their 
district, and desired him to send it to Governor 
Lawrence, to whom it was addressed. Murray 
reported that when they brought it to him they 
behaved with the greatest insolence, though just 
before they had been unusually submissive. He 
thought that this change of demeanor was caused by 
a report which had lately got among them of a French 
fleet in the Bay of Fimdy; for it had been observed 

•ont, indiflf^remment des deux sexes, d'une inconsid^ration dam 
leurs discours qui denote de la m^chancet^/' Another obsenrer, 
Dier^Tille, gives a more favorable picture. 
^ PfMie Documents of Nova Scotia, 228. 

17Sfi.j THEIB MEMORIAL. 271 

that any rumor of an approaching French force 
always had a similar effect. The deputies who 
brought the memorial were sent with it to Halifax, 
where they laid it before the governor and Council. 
It declared that the signers had kept the qualified 
oath they had taken, ^^in spite of the solicitations 
and dreadful threats of another power," and that they 
would continue to prove ^^an unshaken fidelity to 
His Majesty, provided that His Majesty shall allow 
us the same liberty that he has [hitfurto] granted 
us." Their memorial then demanded, in terms 
highly offensive to the Council, that the guns, 
pistols, and other weapons, which they had lately 
been required to give up, should be returned to 
them. They were told in reply that they had 
been protected for many years in the enjoyment of 
their lands, though they had not complied with 
the terms on which the lands were granted; ^^that 
they had always been treated by the Government 
with the greatest lenity and tenderness, had en- 
joyed more privileges than other English subjects, 
and had been indulged in the free exercise of their 
religion;" all which they acknowledged to be true. 
The governor then told them that their conduct had 
been undutif ul and ungrateful ; ^^ that they had dis* 
covered a constant disposition to assist His Majesty's 
enemies and to distress his subjects; that they had 
not only furnished the enemy with provisions and 
ammunition, but had refused to supply the [English"] 
inhabitants or Government, and when they did supply 


ihem, had exacted three tunes the price for which 
they were sold at other markets." The hope was 
then expressed that they would no longer obstruct 
the settlement of the province by aiding the Indians 
to molest and kill English settlers; and they were 
rebuked for saying in their memorial that they would 
be faithful to the King only on certain conditions. 
The governor added that they had some secret reason 
for demanding their weapons, and flattered them* 
selves that French troops were at hand to support 
their insolence. In conclusion, they were told that 
now was a good opportunity to prove their sincerity 
by taking the oath of allegiance, in the usual form, 
before the Council. They replied that they had not 
made up their minds on that point, and could do 
nothing till they had consulted their constituents. 
Being reminded that the oath was personal to them* 
selves, and that six years had already been given 
them to think about it, they asked leave to retire and 
confer together. This was g^nted, and at the end 
of an hour they came back with the same answer as 
before; whereupon they were allowed till ten o^clock 
on the next morning for a final decision.^ 

At the appointed time the Council again met, and 
the deputies were brought in. They persisted stub- 
bornly in the same refusal. **They were then in- 
formed," says the record, "that the Council could no 
longer look on them as subjects to His Britannic 

^ Minutes of Council al Hali/ax, 8 •Tti/y, 1765, in Public Documents 
^Nova Scotia, 247-235. 

J755l] they refuse THE OATH. 278 

Majesty, but as subjects to the King of Fiance, and 
as such they must hereafter be treated; and they 
were ordered to withdraw." A discussion followed 
in the Council. It was determined that the Acadians 
should be ordered to send new deputies to Halifax, 
who should answer for them, once for all, whether 
they would accept the oath or not; that such as 
refused it should not thereafter be permitted to take 
it; and ^^that effectual measures ought to be taken 
to remove all such recusants out of the province." 

The deputies, being then called in and told this 
decision, became alarmed, . and offered to swear 
allegiance in the terms required. The answer was 
that it was too late; that as they had refused the 
Dath under persuasion, they could not be trusted 
when they took it under compulsion. It remained to 
see whether the people at large would profit by their 

^ I am determined, " wrote Lawrence to the Lords 
of Trade, ^^ to bring the inhabitants to a compliance, 
or rid the province of such perfidious subjects."* 
First, in answer to the summons of the Council, the 
deputies from Annapolis appeared, declaring that 
they had always been faithful to the British Crown, 
but flatly refusing the oath. They were told that, 
far from having been faithful subjects, they had 
alwajTS secretly aided the Indians, and that many of 
them had been in arms against the English; that the 
French were threatening the province; and that its 

1 Laurence to Lords of Trade, 18 Juljf, 1756. 
VOL. I. — 18 


affairs had reached a crisis when its inhabitants must 
either pledge themselves without equivocation to be 
true to the British Crown, or else must leave the 
country. They all declared that they would lose 
their lands rather than take the oath. The Council 
urged them to consider the matter seriously, warning 
them that, if they now persisted in refusal, no farther 
choice would be allowed them; and they were given 
till ten o'clock on the following Monday to make 
their final answer. 

When that day came, another body of deputies had 
arrived from Grand Pr^ and the other settlements of 
the Basin of Mines; and being called before the 
Council, both they and the former deputation abso- 
lutely refused to take the oath of allegiance. These 
two bodies represented nine-tenths of the Acadian 
population within the peninsula. "Nothing," pur- 
sues the record of the Council, " now remained to be 
considered but what measures should be taken to 
send the inhabitants away, and where they should be 
sent to." If they were sent to Canada, Cape Breton, 
or the neighboring islands, they would strengthen 
the enemy, and still threaten the province. It was 
therefore resolved to distribute them among the 
various English colonies, and to hire vessels for the 
purpose with all despatch.^ 

^ MinuttB of Council, 4 Julif-2S July, in Public Documenti of 
Nova Scotia, 265-267. Copies of these and other parts of the record 
were sent at the time to England, and are now in the Public Record 
Office along with the letters of Lawrence. 


The oath, the refusal of which had brought such 
consequences, was a simple pledge of fidelity and 
allegiance to King George II. and his successors. 
Many of the Acadians had already taken an oath of 
fidelity, though with the omission of the word ** alle- 
giance," and, as they insisted, with a saving clause 
exempting them from bearing arms. The effect of 
this was that they did not regard themselves as 
British subjects, and claimed, falsely as regards most 
of them, the character of neutrals. It was to put an 
end to this anomalous state of things that the oath 
without reserve had been demanded of them. Their 
rejection of it, reiterated in full view of the conse- 
quences, is to be ascribed partly to a fixed belief that 
the English would not execute their threats, partly 
to ties of race and kin, but mainly to superstition. 
They feared to take part with heretics against the 
King of France, whose cause, as already stated, they 
had been taught to regard as one with the cause of 
God; they were constrained by the dread of perdi- 
tion. ^^If the Acadians are miserable, remember 
that the priests are the cause of it," writes the 
French officer Boish^bert to the missionary Manach.^ 

1 On the oath and its history, compare a long note bj Mr. Akin 
in Public Document$ of Nova Scotia, 20^267. Winslow in his Jour- 
nal gives an abstract of a memorial sent him bj the Acadians, in 
which thej say that they had refused the oath, and so forfeited 
their lands, from motives of religion. I have shown in a former 
chapter that the priests had been the chief instruments in prevent- 
ing them from accepting the English government. Add the 
f oUowing : — 

" Les malheurs des Accadiens sont beaucoup moins leur ouvrag^ 


The Council having come to a decision, Lawrence 
acquainted Monckton with the result, and ordered 
him to seize all the adult males in the neighborhood 
of Beaus^jour ; and this, as we have seen, he promptly 
did. It remains to observe how the rest of the 
sentence was carried into effect. 

Instructions were sent to Winslow to secure the 
inhabitants on or near the Basin of Mines and place 
t^em on board transports, which, he was told, would 
soon arrive from Boston. His orders were stringent: 
^If you find that fair means will not do with them, 
you must proceed by the most vigorous measures 
possible, not only in compelling them to embark, but 
in depriving those who shall escape of all means of 
shelter or support, by burning their houses and by 
destroying everything that may afford them the 
means of subsistence in the coimtry." Similar orders 
were given to Major Handfield, the regular officer in 
command at Annapolis. 

que le fruit des soUicitations et des d-marches dec missionnairet.* 
— Vaudretul au Ministre, 6 Mai, 1700. 

** Si nous avons la gaerre, et si les Accadiens sont mis^rables, 
soareDes-Toas que ce sont les pr^tres qui en sont la cause." — 
Boiihihert a Manach, 21 F^vrter, 1700. Both these writers had en- 
couraged the priests in their intrigues so long as these were likelj 
to profit the French government, and only blamed them after thej 
failed to accomplish what was expected of them. 

" Nous avons six missionnaires dont I'occupation perpetuelle est 
ds porter les esprits au fanatisme et h la vengeance. . . . Je ne puis 
supporter dans nos pr^tres ces odieuses declamations qu'ils font 
tous les jours aux sauvages: 'Les Anglois sont les ennemis de 
Dieu, les compagnons du Diable.' " — Pichon, Lettreg et MSmoireB pom 
§ermr h rHittoire du Cap-Breton, 160, 161. (La Haye, 1760.) 


On the fourteenth of August Winslow set out from 
his camp at Fort Beaus^jour, or Cumberland, on his 
unenviable errand. He had with him but two hun- 
dred and ninety-seven men. His mood of mind was 
not serene. He was chafed because the regulars had 
charged his men with stealing sheep; and he was 
doubly vexed by an untoward incident that happened 
on the morning of his departure. He had sent for- 
ward his detachment under Adams, the senior cap- 
tain, and they were marching by the fort with drums 
beating and colors flying, when Monckton sent out 
his aide-de-camp with a curt demand that the colors 
should be given up, on the ground that they ought 
to remain with the regiment. Whatever the sound- 
ness of the reason, there was no courtesy in the 
manner of enforcing it. ^ This transaction raised my 
temper some," writes Winslow in his Diary; and he 
proceeds to record his opinion that ^4t is the most 
imgenteel, ill-natured thing that ever I saw.*' He 
sent Monckton a quaintly indignant note, in which 
he observed that the affair ^4ooks odd, and will 
appear so in future history;" but his commander, 
reckless of the judgments of posterity, gave him little 

Thus ruffled in spirit, he embarked with his men 
and sailed down Chignecto Channel to the Bay of 
Fundy. Here, while they waited the turn of the 
tide to enter the Basin of Mines, the shores of Cum- 
berland lay before them dim in the hot and hazy air, 
and the promontory of Cape Split, like some mis- 


Bhapen monster of primeval chaos, stretched its por- 
tentous length along the glimmering sea, with head 
of yawning rock, and ridgy back bristled with forests. 
Borne on the rushing flood, they soon drifted through 
the inlet, glided under the rival promontory of Cape 
Blomedon, passed the red sandstone cliffs of Lyon's 
Cove, and descried the mouths of the rivers Canard 
and Des Habitants, where fertile marshes, diked 
against the tide, sustained a numerous and thriving 
population. Before them spread the boundless 
meadows of Grand Pr^, waving with harvests or 
alive with grazing cattle; the green slopes behind 
were dotted with the simple dwellings of the Acadian 
farmeis, and the spire of the village church rose 
against a background of woody hills. It was a 
peaceful, rural scene, soon to become one of the most 
wretched spots on earth. Winslow did not land for 
the present, but held his course to the estuary of the 
river Pisiquid, since called the Avon. Here, where 
the town of Windsor now stands, there was a stock- 
ade called Fort Edward, where a garrison of regulars 
under Captain Alexander Murray kept watch over 
the surrounding settlements. The New England 
men pitched their tents on shore, while the sloops 
that had brought them slept on the soft bed of tawny 
mud left by the fallen tide. 

Winslow found a warm reception, for Murray and 
his officers had been reduced too long to their own 
society not to welcome the coming of strangers. The 
two commanders conferred together. Both had been 

1755.] WmSLOW AT GRAND PRfi. 279 

ordered by Lawrence to "clear the whole country of 
such bad subjects ; " and the methods of doing so had 
been outlined for their guidance. Having come to 
some understanding with his brother officer concern- 
ing the duties imposed on both, and begun an 
acquaintance which soon grew cordial on both sides, 
Winslow embarked again and retraced his course to 
Grand Pr^, the station which the governor had 
assigned him. " Am pleased, " he wrote to Lawrence, 
** with the place proposed by your Excellency for our 
reception [the village church']. I have sent for the 
elders to remove all sacred things, to prevent their 
being defiled by heretics." The church was used as 
a storehouse and place of arms; the men pitched their 
tents between it and the graveyard; while Winslow 
took up his quarters in the house of the priest, where 
he could look from his window on a tranquil scene. 
Beyond the vast tract of grassland to which Grand 
Pr^ owed its name, spread the blue glistening breast 
of the Basin of Mines ; beyond this again, the distant 
moimtains of Cobequid basked in the summer sun; 
and nearer, on the left. Cape Blomedon reared its 
bluff head of rock and forest above the sleeping 

As the men of the settlement greatly outnumbered 
his own, Winslow set his followers to surrounding 
the camp with a stockade. Card-pla}ning was for- 
bidden, because it encouraged idleness, and pitching 
quoits in camp, because it spoiled the grass. Pres- 
ently there came a letter from Lawrence expressing a 



fear that the fortifying of the camp might alarm the 
inhabitants. To which Winslow replied that the 
making of the stockade had not alarmed them in the 
least, since they took it as a proof that the detach- 
ment was to spend the winter with them; and he 
added, that as the harvest was not yet got in, he and 
Murray had agreed not to publish the governor's 
commands till the next Friday. He concludes: 
^^ Although it is a dissigreeable part of duty we are put 
upon, I am sensible it is a necessary one, and shall 
endeavor strictly to obey your Excellency's orders." 

On the thirtieth, Murray, whose post was not many 
miles distant, made him a visit. They sigreed that 
Winslow should summon all the male inhabitants 
about Grand Pr^ to meet him at the church and hear 
the King's orders, and that Murray should do the 
same for those around Fort Edward. Winslow then 
called in his three captains, — Adams, Hobbs, and 
Osgood, — made them swear secrecy, and laid before 
them his instructions and plans; which latter they 
approved. Murray then returned to his post, and on 
the next day sent Winslow a note containing the 
following: "I think the sooner we strike the stroke 
the better, therefore will be glad to see you here as 
soon as conveniently you can. I shall have the 
orders for assembling ready written for your approba- 
tion, only the day blank, and am hopeful everything 
will succeed according to our wishes. The gentle- 
men join me in our best compliments to you and the 

1755.] THE SUMMONS. 281 

On the next day, Sunday, Winslow and the Doctor, ^ 
whose name was Whitwortb, made the tour of the 
neighborhood, with an escort of fifty men, and found 
a great quantity of wheat stiU on the fields. On 
Tuesday Winslow "set out in a whale-boat with Dr. 
Whitwortb and Adjutant Kennedy, to consult with 
Captain Murray in this critical conjuncture." They 
agreed that three in the afternoon of Friday should 
be the time of assembling; then between them they 
drew up a summons to the inhabitants, and got one 
Beauchamp, a merchant, to "put it into French/' 
It ran as follows: — 

By John Winslow, Esquire, Lieutenant-Colonel and 
Commander of His Majesty's troops at Grand Pr6, Mines, 
Kiver Canard, and places adjacent. 

To the inhabitants of the districts above named, as well 
ancients as young men and lads. 

Whereas His Excellency the Grovemor has instructed 
ns of his last resolution respecting the matters proposed 
lately to the inhabitants, and has ordered us to communi- 
cate the same to the inhabitants in general in person, His 
Excellency being desirous that each of them should be 
fully satisfied of His Majesty's intentions, which he has 
also ordered ns to communicate to you, such as they have 
been given him. 

We therefore order and strictly enjoin by these presents 
to all the inhabitants, as well of the above-named districts 
as of all the other districts, both old men and young men, 
as well as all the lads of ten yeavs of age, to attend at the 
church in Grand Pr^ on Friday, the fifth instant, at three 
of the clock in the afternoon, that we may impart what we 
ore ordered to communicate to them; declaring that no 


excuse will be admitted on any pretence whatsoeyer, on 
pain of forfeiting goods and chattels in default. 

Given at Grand Pr^, the second of September, in the 
twenty-ninth year of His Majesty's reign, a.d. 1755. 

A similar summons was drawn up in the name of 
Murray for the inhabitants of the district of Fort 

Captain Adams made a reconnoissance of the rivers 
Canard and Des Habitants, and reported ^^a fine 
country and full of inhabitants, a beautiful church, 
and abundance of the goods of the world." Another 
reconnoissance by Captains Hobbs and Osgood among 
the settlements behind Grand Prd brought reports 
equally favorable. On the fourth, another letter 
came from Murray : " All the people quiet, and very 
busy at their harvest ; if this day keeps fair, all will 
be in here in their bams. I hope to-morrow will 
crown all our wishes." The Acadians, like the bees, 
were to gather a harvest for others to enjoy. The 
summons was sent out that afternoon. Powder and 
ball were served to the men, and all were ordered to 
keep within the lines. 

On the next day the inhabitants appeared at the 
hour appointed, to the number of four hundred and 
eighteen men. Winslow ordered a table to be set in 
the middle of the church, and placed on it his 
instructions and the address he had prepared. Here 
he took his stand in his laced uniform, with one or 
two subalterns from the regulars at Fort Edward, 
and such of the Massachusetts officers as were not on 

1755.] SCENE IN THE CHUBCH. 288 

guard duty; strong, sinewy figures, bearing, no 
doubt, more or less distinctly, the peculiar stamp 
with which toil, trade, and Puritanism had imprinted 
the features of New England. Their commander v 
was not of the prevailing type. He was fifty-three 
years of age, with double chin, smooth forehead, 
arched eyebrows, close powdered wig, and round, 
rubicund face, from which the weight of an odious 
duty had probably banished the smirk of self-satis- 
faction that dwelt there at other times. ^ Neverthe- 
less, he had manly and estimable qualities. The 
congregation of peasants, clad in rough homespun, 
turned their sunburned faces upon him, anxious and 
intent; and Winslow "delivered them by interpret- 
ers the King's orders in the following words,'* which, 
retouched in orthography and syntax, ran thus: — 

Gentlemen, — I have received from His Excellency, 
Governor Lawrence, the King's instructions, which I have 
in my hand. By his orders you are called together to 
hear His Majesty's final resolution concerning the French 
inhabitants of this his province of Nova Scotia, who for 
almost half a century have had more indulgence granted 
them than any of his subjects in any part of his dominions. 
What use you have made of it you yourselves best know. 

The duty I am now upon, though necessary, is very disa- 
greeable to my natural make and temper, as I know it must 
be grievous to you, who are of the same species. But it 
is not my business to animadvert on the orders I have 
received, but to obey them; and therefore without hesita* 

I See his portrait, at the roomg of the MaMachusetts Historical 


tion I shall deliver to you His Majesty's instructions and 
commands, which are that your lands and tenements and 
cattle and live-stock of all kinds are forfeited to the Crown, 
with all your other effects, except money and household 
goods, and that you yourselves are to be removed from 
this his province. 

The peremptory orders of His Majesty are that all the 
French inhabitants of these districts be removed; and 
through His Majesty's goodness I am directed to allow 
you the liberty of carrying with you your money and as 
many of your household goods as you can take without 
overloading the vessels you go in. I shall do everything 
in my power that all these goods be secured to you, and 
that you be not molested in carrying them away, and also 
that whole families shall go in the same vessel ; so that 
this removal, which I am sensible must give you a great 
deal of trouble, may be made as easy as His Majesty's 
service will admit; and I hope that in whatever part of 
the world your lot may fall, you may be faithful subjects, 
and a peaceable and happy people. 

I must also inform you that it is His Majesty's pleasure 
that you remain in security under the inspection and direc- 
tion of the troops that I have the honor to command. 

He then declared them prisoners of the King. 
"They were greatly struck," he says, "at this deter- 
mination, though I believe they did not imagine that 
they were actually to be removed." After delivering 
the address, he returned to his quarters at the priest's 
house, whither he was followed by some of the elder 
prisoners, who begged leave to tell their families 
what had happened, "since they were fearful that 
the surprise of their detention would quite overcome 


them.** Winslow consulted with his officers, and it 
was arranged that the Acadians should choose twenty 
of their number each day to revisit their homes, the 
rest being held answerable for their return. 

A letter, dated some days before, now came from 
Major Handfield at Annapolis, saying that he had 
tried to secure the men of that neighborhood, but 
that many of them had escaped to the woods. 
Murray's report from Fort Edward came soon after, 
and was more favorable: "I have succeeded finely, 
and have got a hundred and eighty-three men into 
my possession." To which Winslow replies: "I 
have the favor of yours of this day, and rejoice at 
your success, and also for the smiles that have attended 
the party here. '* But he adds mournfully: "Things 
are now very heavy on my heart and hands." The 
prisoners were lodged in the church, and notice was 
sent to their families to bring them food. " Thus, *' 
BSijs the Diary of the commander, "ended the memo- 
rable fifth of September, a day of great fatigue and 

There was one quarter where fortune did not 
always smile. Major Jedediah Preble, of Winslow's 
battalion, wrote to him that Major Frye had just 
returned from Chipody, whither he had gone with a 
party of men to destroy the settlements and bring off 
the women and ohildfon* After burning two hun- 
dred and fifty-three buildings he had re-embarked, 
leaving fifty men on shore at a place called Peticodiac 
to give a finishing stroke to the work by burning the 


"Mass House,'* or church. While thus engaged, 
they were set upon by three hundred Indians and 
Acadians, led by the partisan officer Boish^bert. 
More than half their number were killed, wounded, 
or taken. The rest ensconced themselves behind the 
neighboring dikes, and Frye, hastily landing with 
the rest of his men, engaged the assailants for three 
hours, but was forced at last to re-embark.^ Captain 
Speakman, who took part in the affair, also sent 
Winslow an account of it, and added: "The people 
here are much concerned for fear your party should 
meet with the same fate (being in the heart of a 
numerous devilish crew), which I pray God avert.*' 

Winslow had indeed some cause for anxiety. He 
had captured more Acadians since the fifth; and had 
now in charge nearly five hundred able-bodied men, 
with scarcely three hundred to guard them. As they 
were allowed daily exercise in the open air, they 
might by a sudden rush get possession of arms and 
make serious trouble. On the Wednesday after the 
scene in the church some unusual movements were 
observed among them, and Winslow and his officers 
became convinced that they could not safely be kept 
in one body. Five vessels, lately arrived from 
Boston, were lying within the mouth of the neigh- 
boring river. It was resolved to place fifty of the 
prisoners on board each of these, and keep them 

1 AIbo Boiihibert a Drucour^ 10 Octobre, 1756, an exaggerated 
account. Vaudreuil au Minittre^ 18 Octobre^ 1755, sets Boish^ert'? 
force at one hundred and twenty-five men. 


anchored in the Basin. The soldiers were all ordered 
under arms, and posted on an open space beside the 
church and behind the priest's house. The prisoners 
were then drawn up before them, ranked six deep, — 
the young unmarried men, as the most dangerous, 
being told off and placed on the left, to the number 
of a hundred and forty-one. Captain Adams, with 
eighty men, was then ordered to guard them to the 
vessels. Though the object of the movement had 
been explained to them, they were possessed with the 
idea that they were to be torn from their families and 
sent away at once ; and they all, in great excitement, 
refused to go. Winslow told them that there must 
be no parley or delay ; and as they still refused, a 
squad of soldiers advanced towards them with fixed 
bayonets ; while he himself, laying hold of the fore- 
most young man, commanded him to move forward. 
" He obeyed ; and the rest followed, though slowly, 
and went off praying, singing, and crying, being met 
by the women and children all the way (which is a 
mile and a half) with great lamentation, upon their 
knees, praying." When the escort returned, about a 
hundred of the married men were ordered to follow 
the first party; and, "the ice being broken,^" they 
readily complied. The vessels were anchored at a 
little distance from shore, and six soldiers were placed 
on board each of them as a guard. The prisoners 
were offered the King's rations, but preferred to be 
supplied by their famiUes, who, it was arranged, 
should go in boats to visit them every day; "and 


thus," says Winslow, "ended this troublesome job." 
He was not given to effusions of feeling, but he 
wrote to Major Handfield: "This affair is more 
grievous to me than any service I was ever employed 

Murray sent him a note of congratulation: "I am 
extremely pleased that things are so clever at Grand 
Pr^, and that the poor devils are so resigned. Here 
they are more patient than I could have expected for 
people in their circumstances; and what surprises 
me still more is the indifference of the women, who 
really are, or seem, quite unconcerned. I long much 
to see the poor wretches embarked and our affair a 
little settled ; and then I will do myself the pleasure 
of meeting you and drinking their good voyage." 

This agreeable consummation was still distant. 
There was a long and painful delay. The provisions 
for the vessels which were to carry the prisoners did 


not come ; nor did the vessels themselves, excepting 
the five already at Grand Pri, In vain Winslow 
wrote urgent letters to George Saul, the commissary, 
to bring the supplies at once. Murray, at Fort 
Edward, though with less feeling than his brother 
officer, was quite as impatient of the burden of 
suffering humanity on his hands. "I am amazed 
what can keep the transports and Saul. Surely our 

^ Haliburton, who knew Winslow's Journal only by imperfect 
extracts, erroneouBly states that the men put on board the vessels 
were sent away immediately. They remained at Grand Pr^ several 
weeks, and wem then sent off at int^vals with their families. 

1765.] EMBARKATION. 289 

friend at Chignecto is willing to g^ve us as much of 
our neighbors' company as he well can." ^ Saul came 
at last ^th a shipSof provisions; but the lagging 
transports did not appear. Winslow grew heartsick 
at the daily sight of miseries which he himself had 
occasioned, and wrote to a friend at Halifax: ^^I 
know they deserve all and more than they feel; yet 
it hurts me to near their weeping and wailing and 
gobbing of .^fl.. I.„mhop^o„r.«J^ 
soon put on another face, and we get transports, and 
I rid of the worst piece of service that ever I was in.'' 

After weeks of delay, seven transports came from 
Annapolis; and Winslow sent three of them to 
Murray, who joyfully responded : " Thank God, the 
transports are come at last. So soon as I have 
shipped off my rascals, I will come down and settle 
matters with you, and enjoy ourselves a little." 

Winslow prepared for the embarkation. The 
Acadian prisoners and their famiUes'were divided 
into groups answering to their several villages, in 

possible, go in the same vessel. It was also provided 
that the members of each family should remain 
together; and notice was given them to hold them- 
selves in readiness. "But even now," he writes, "I 
could not persuade the people I was in earnest." 
Their doubts were soon ended. The first embarka- 
tion took place on the eighth of October, under which 
date the Diary contains this entry : " Began to embark 

1 Murray to Window, 26 September, 176& 
TOL. I. — 19 


the inhafaitants, who went off very solentarily [sie\ 
and unwillingly, the women in great distress, carry- 
ing off their children in their arms; others carrying 
their decrepit parents in their carts, with all their 
goods; moving in grcat confusion, and appeared a 
scene of woe and distress."^ 

Though a large number were embarked on this 
occasion, still more remained; and as the transports 
slowly arrived, the dismal scene was repeated at 
intervals, with more order than at first, as the Aca- 
dians had learned to accept their fate as a certainty. 
So far as Winslow was concerned, their treatment 
seems to have been as humane as was possible under 
the circumstances; but they complained of the men, 
who disliked and despised them. One soldier received 
thirty lashes for stealing fowls from them; and an 
order was issued forbidding soldiers or sailors, on 
pain of summary punishment, to leave their quarters 
without permission, *^ that an end may be put to 
distressing this distressed people." Two of the pris- 
oners, however, while tiying to escape, were shot by 
a reconnoitring party. 

At the beginning of November Winslow reported 
that he had sent off fifteen hundred and ten persons, 
in nine vessels, and that more than six hundred still 
remained in lus district.^ The last of these were not 
embarked till late in December. Murray finished 

1 In ipite of Winslow's care, some cases of separation of f ami 
Ues occurred ; but they were not numerous. 
* Wimhw to Monckton, 8 November, 1766. 


his part of the work at the end of October, having 
sent from the district of Fort Edward eleven hundred 
persons in four frightfully crowded transports.^ At 
the close of that month sixteen hundred and sixty- 
four had been sent from the district of Annapolis, 
where many others escaped to the woods.^ A 
detachment which was ordered to seize the inhabit- 
ants of the district of Gobequid &iled entirely, find- 
ing the settlements abandoned. In the country 
about Fort Cumberland, Monckton, who directed the 
operation in person, had very indifferent success, 
catching in all but little more than a thousand.^ Le 
Gueme, missionary priest in this neighborhood, gives 
a characteristic and affecting incident of the embarka* 
tion. "Many unhappy women, carried away by 
excessive attachment to their husbands, whom they 
had been allowed to see too often, and closing their 
ears to the voice of religion and their missionary, 
threw themselves blindly and despairingly into the 
English vessels. And now was seen the saddest of 
spectacles; for some of these women, solely from a 
religious motive, refused to take with them their 
grown-up sons and daughters. " ^ They would expose 
their own souls to perdition among heretics, but not 
those of their children. 

When all, or nearly all, had been sent off from the 

1 Winslow to Monckton, 8 November, 1766, 

* Captain Adawu to Window, 20 November, 1766; see also Knox, 
i 86, who exactly confirms Adams's figures. 

• Monckton to Window, 7 October, 1766. 
« Le Gueme h Provost, 10 Mar; 1766. 


various points of departure, such of the houses and 
bams as remained standing were burned, in obedience 
to the orders of Lawrence, that those who had escaped 
might be forced to come in and surrender themselves. 
The whole number removed from the province, men, 
women, and children, was a little above six thousand. 
Many remained behind; and while some of these 
withdrew to Canada, Isle St. Jean, and other dis- 
tant retreats, the rest lurked in the woods or re- 
turned to their old haunts, whence they waged, for 
several years, a guerilla warfare against the Eng- 
lish. Yet their strength was broken, and they were 
no longer a danger to the province. 

Of their exiled countrymen, one party overpowered 
the crew of the vessel that carried them, ran her 
ashore at the mouth of the St. John, and escaped.^ 
The rest were distributed among the colonies from 
Massachusetts to Georgia, the master of each trans- 
port having been provided with a letter from Lawrence 
addressed to the governor of the province to which 
he was bound, and desiring him to receive the 
unwelcome strangers. The provincials were vexed 
at the burden imposed upon them; and though the 
Acadians were not in general ill-treated, their lot 
was a hard one. Still more so was that of those 
among them who escaped to Canada. The chronicle 
of the Ursulines of Quebec, speaking of these last, 
says that their misery was indescribable, and at- 

1 Leftre commune de Drucour et Privost au Mini$tre, 6 Avril, 1766L 
VaudrtuU au Miniitre, 1 Juin, 1766. 

1766.] THEIR FATE. 298 

tributes it to the poverty of the colony. But there 
were other causes. The exiles found less pity from v^ 
kindred and fellow-Catholics than from the heretics 
of the English colonies. Some of them who had 
made their way to Canada from Boston, whither 
they had been transported, sent word to a gentleman 
of that place who had befriended them that they 
wished to return.^ Bougainville, the celebrated 
navigator, then aide-de-camp to Montcalm, says 
concerning them: "They are djdng by wholesale. 
Their past and present misery, joined to the rapacity 
of the Canadians, who seek only to squeeze out of 
them all the money they can, and then refuse them 
the help so dearly bought, are the cause of this 
mortality." "A citizen of Quebec," he says farther 
on, "was in debt to one of the partners of the Great 
Company [Oovemment officials leagued for plunder]. 
He had no means of paying. They gave him a great 
number of Acadians to board and lodge. He starved 
them with hunger and cold, got out of them what 
money they had, and paid the extortioner. Quel 
pays ! Quels rnceurs ! " * 

Many of the exiles eventually reached Louisiana, 
where their descendants now form a numerous and 
distinct population. Some, after incredible hardship, 
made their way back to Acadia, where, after the 
peace, they remained unmolested, and, with those 

^ HutchinBon, Hltt. Ma$$., iii. 42, note, 

* BongainYiUe, Journal, 1766-1758. Hlf statements are sustained 
bf Mfmoirei 8ur U Canada, 174^1760. 


who had escaped seizure, became the progenitors of 
the present Acadians, now settled in various parts of 
the British maritime provinces, notably at Madawaska, 
on the upper St. John, and at Clare, in Nova Scotia. 
Others were sent from Virginia to England; and 
others again, after the complete conquest of the 
country, found refuge in France. 

In one particular the authors of the deportation 
were disappointed in its results. They had hoped to 
substitute a loyal population for a disaffected one; 
but they failed for some time to find settlers for the 
vacated lands. The Massachusetts soldiers, to whom 
they were offered, would not stay in the province; 
and it was not till five years later that families of 
British stock began to occupy the waste fields of the 
Acadians. This goes far to show that a longing to 
become their heirs had not, as has been alleged, any 
considerable part in the motives for their removal. 

New England humanitarianism, melting into sen- 
timentality at a tale of woe, has been unjust to its 
own. Whatever judgment may be passed on the 
cruel measure of wholesale expatriation, it was not 
put in execution till eveiy resource of patience and 
persuasion had been tried in vain. The agents of the 
French court, civil, military, and ecclesiastical, had 
made some act of force a necessity. We have seen 
by what vile practices they produced in Acadia a 
state of things intolerable, and impossible of con- 
tinuance. They conjured up the tempest; and when 
it burst on the heads of the unhappy people, they 

1756.] THEIR FATE. 295 

gave no help. The govemment of Louis XV. began 
with making the Acadians its tools, and ended with 
making them its victims.^ 

1 It may not be remembered that the predecessor of Louis XV., 
without the slightest provocation or the pretence of any, gave 
orders that the whole Protestant population of the colony of New 
York, amounting to about eighteen thousand, should be seized, 
despoiled of their property, placed on board his ships, and dis- 
persed among the other British colonies in such a way that they 
could not reunite. Want of power alone prevented the execution 
of the order. See " Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV.," 
loO, 199. 




▼1NCIAL Armt. — Doubts and Delays. — March to Lakb 
Gborob. — Sunday in Camp. — Adyancb of Dieskau: hb 
OHANOES Plan. — Marches against Johnson. — Ambush. — 
Rout of Proyincials. — Battle of Lake Gborob. — Rout 
OF THB French. — Raob of the Mohawks. — Peril of Dibs- 
KAU. — Inaction of Johnson. — The Hombward March.-— 
Laurbls of Victory. 

The next stroke of the campaign was to be the 
capture of Crown Point, that dangerous neighbor 
which, for a quarter of a century, had threatened the 
northern colonies. Shirley, in January, had proposed 
an attack on it to the ministry; and in February, 
without waiting their reply, he laid the plan before 
his Assembly. They accepted it, and voted money 
for the pay and maintenance of twelve hundred men, 
provided the adjacent colonies would contribute in 
due proportion.^ Massachusetts showed a military 

* Governor Shirley's Message to his Assembly, 13 February, 1755. 
Resolutions of the Assembly of Massachusetts, 18 February, 1765. Shir- 
le/s original idea was to build a fort on a rising ground near 
Crown Point, in order to command it. This was soon abandoned 
for the more honest and more practical plan of direct attack. 


from Burreys made in 




./ rf * J ■» ■■ 


activity worthy of the reputation she had won. 
Forty-five hundred of her men, or one in eight of her 
adult males, volunteered to fight the French, and 
enlisted for the various expeditions, some in the pay 
of the province, and some in that of the King.i It 
remained to name a commander for the Crown Point 
enterprise. Nobody had power to do so, for Brad- 
dock was not yet come ; but that time might not be 
lost, Shirley, at the request of his Assembly, took 
the responsibility on himself. If he had named a 
Massachusetts ofiBcer, it would have roused the jealousy 
of the other New England colonies ; and he therefore 
appointed William Johnson of New York, thus 
gratifying that important province and pleasing the 
Five Nations, who at this time looked on Johnson 
with even more than usual favor. Hereupon, in 
reply to his request, Connecticut voted twelve hun- 
dred men. New Hampshire five hundred, and Rhode 
Island four hundred, all at their own charge; while 
New York, a little later, promised eight hundred 
more. When, in April, Braddock and the Council 
at Alexandria approved the plan and the commander, 
Shirley gave Johnson the commission of major-general 
of the levies of Massachusetts ; and the governors of 
the other provinces contributing to the expedition 
gave him similar commissions for their respective 
contingents. Never did general take the field with 
authority so heterogeneous. 

1 Correspondence of Shirfey, February, 1756. The number wat 
mach increased later in the season. 

298 DIESEAU. [1750. 

He had never seen service, and knew nothing of 
war. By birth he was Irish, of good family, being 
nephew of Admiral Sir Peter Warren, who, owning 
extensive wild lands on the Mohawk, had placed the 
young man in charge of them nearly twenty years 
before. Johnson was bom to prosper. He had 
ambition, energy, an active mind, a tall, strong 
person, a rough, jovial temper, and a quick adapta- 
tion to his surroundings. He could drink flip with 
Dutch boors, or Madeira with royal governors. He 
liked the society of the great, would intrigue and 
flatter when he had an end to gain, and foil a rival 
without looking too closely at the means ; but com- 
pared with the Indian traders who infested the border, 
he was a model of uprightness. He lived by the 
Mohawk in a fortified house which was a stronghold 
against foes and a scene of hospitality to friends, 
both white and red. Here — for his tastes were not 
fastidious — presided for many years a Dutch or 
Grerman wench whom he finally married; and after 
her death a young Mohawk squaw took her place. 
Over his neighbors, the Indians of the Five Nations, 
and all others of their race with whom he had to 
deal, he acquired a remarkable influence. He liked 
them, adopted their ways, and treated them kindly 
or sternly as the case required, but always with a 
justice and honesty in strong contrast with the ras- 
calities of the commission of Albany traders who had 
lately managed their affairs, and whom they so 
detested that one of their chiefs called them ^^not 

i755.] WILLIAM JOHNSON. 299 

men, but devils." Hence, when Johnson was made 
Indian superintendent there was joy through all the 
Iroquois confederacy. When, in addition, he was 
made a general, he assembled the warriors in council 
to engage them to aid the expedition. 

This meeting took place at his own house, known 
as Fort Johnson; and as more than eleven hundred 
Indians appeared at his call, his larder was sorely 
taxed to entertain them. The speeches were intermi- 
nable. Johnson, a master of Indian rhetoric, knew 
his audience too well not to contest with them the 
palm of insufferable prolixity. The climax was 
reached on the fourth day, and he threw down the 
war-belt. An Oneida chief took it up; Stevens, the 
interpreter, began the war-dance, and the assembled 
warriors howled in chorus. Then a tub of punch 
was brought in, and they all drank the King's 
health.^ They showed less alacrity, however, to 
fight his battles, and scarcely three hundred of them 
would take the war-path. Too many of their friends 
and relatives were enlisted for the French. 

While the British colonists were preparing to 
attack Crown Point, the French of Canada were 
preparing to defend it. Duquesne, recalled from his 
post, had resigned the government to the Marquis de 
Yaudreuil, who had at his disposal the battalions of 
regulars that had sailed in the spring from Brest 
under Baron Dieskau. His first thought was to use 

1 Report of Conference between Major-General Johnson and the 
Indians, June, 1766. 

800 DIESKAU. [176& 

them for the capture of Oswego; but the letters of 
Braddock, found on the battle-field, warned him of 
the design against Crown Point; while a reconnoitring 
party which had gone as far as the Hudson brought 
back news that Johnson's forces were already in the 
field. Therefore the plan was changed, and Dieskau 
was ordered to lead the main body of his troops, not 
to Lake Ontario, but to Lake Champlain. He passed 
up the Richelieu, and embarked in boats and canoes 
for Crown Point. The veteran knew that the foes 
with whom he had to deal were but a mob of country- 
men. He doubted not of putting them to rout, and 
meant never to hold his hand till he had chased them 
back to Albany.^ "Make all haste," Vaudreuil 
wrote to him ; " for when you return we shall send 
you to Oswego to execute our first design."^ 

Johnson on his part was preparing to advance. 
In July about three thousand provincials were en- 
camped near Albany, some on the " Flats " above the 
town, and some on the meadows below. Hither, 
too, came a swarm of Johnson's Mohawks, — warriors, 
squaws, and children. They adorned the general's 
face with war-paint, and he danced the war-dance; 
then with his sword he cut the first slice from the ox 
that had been roasted whole for their entertainment. 
"I shall be glad," wrote the surgeon of a New Eng- 
land regiment, " if they fight as eagerly as they ^ 
their ox and drank then- wine." 

1 Bigot au Ministre, 27 AoAt, 1765. Ibid., 6 Septembre, 1765. 
• M€moire pour servir d* Instruction h M, le Baron de Dieskau , 
Marichat des Camps et Armies du Roy, 15 AoUt, 1755. 

1766.] DELAYS. 801 

Above all things the expedition needed prompt- 
ness; yet everything moved slowly. Five popular 
legislatures controlled the troops and the supplies. 
Connecticut had refused to send her men till Shirley 
promised that her commanding officer should rank 
next to Johnson. The whole movement was for 
some time at a deadlock because the five governments 
could not agree about their contributions of artillery 
and stores.^ The New Hampshire regiment had 
taken a short cut for Crown Point across the wilder- 
ness of Vermont, but had been recalled in time to 
save them from probable destruction. They were 
now with the rest in the camp at Albany, in such 
distress for provisions that a private subscription 
was proposed for their relief.^ 

Johnson's army, crude as it was, had in it good 
material. Here was Phineas Lyman, of Connecticut, 
second in command, once a tutor at Yale College, 
and more recently a lawyer, — a raw soldier, but a 
vigorous and brave one; Colonel Moses Titcomb, ot 
Massachusetts, who had fought with credit at Louis- 
bourg; and Ephraim Williams, also colonel of a 
Massachusetts regiment, a tall and portly man, who 
had been a captain in the last war, member of the 
General Court, and deputy sheriff. He made his 
will in the camp at Albany, and left a legacy to 

1 The Conduct of Major-General Shirley briefly stated (London, 

> Blanchard to Wentworth, 28 August, 1766, in Provincial Papers oj 
New Hampshire, tL 429. 

802 DIESEAU. [175& 

found the school which has since become Williams 
College. His relative, Stephen Williams, was chap- 
lain of his regiment, and his brother Thomas was its 
surgeon. Seth Pomeroy, gunsmith at Northampton, 
who, like Titcomb, had seen service at Louisbourg, 
was its lieutenant-colonel. He had left a wife at 
home, an excellent matron, to whom he was con- 
tinually writing affectionate letters, mingling house* 
hold cares with news of the camp, and charging her 
to see that their eldest boy, Seth, then in college at 
New Haven, did not run off to the army. Pomeroy 
had with him his brother Daniel ; and this he thought 
was enough. Here, too, was a man whose name is 
still a household word in New England, — the sturdy 
Israel Putnam, private in a Connecticut regiment; 
and another as bold as he, John Stark, lieutenant in 
the New Hampshire levies, and the future victor of 

The soldiers were no soldiers, but farmers and 
farmers' sons who had volunteered for the summer 
campaign. One of the corps had a blue uniform 
faced with red. The rest wore their daily clothing. 
Blankets had been served out to them by the several 
provinces, but the greater part brought their own 
guns ; some under the penalty of a fine if they came 
without them, and some under the inducement of a 
reward.^ They had no bayonets, but carried hatchets 
in their belts as a sort of substitute.^ At their sides 

* Prociamatiim of Governor ShirUff, 1766. 

* Second Letter to a Friend on the Battle of Lake George. 


were slung powder-homs, • on which, in the leisure 
of the camp, they carved quaint devices with the 
points of their jack-knives. They came chiefly from 
plain New England homesteads, — rustic abodes, 
unpainted and dingy, with long well-sweeps, capacious 
bams, rough fields of pumpkins and com, and vast 
kitchen chimneys, above which in winter hnng 
squashes to keep them from frost, and cnins to keep 
l^em from rust 

As to the manners and morals of the army there is 
conflict of evidence. In some respects nothing could 
be more exemplary. **Not a chicken has been 
stolen," says William Smith, of New York; while, 
on the other hand. Colonel Ephraim Williams writes 
to Colonel Israel Williams, then commanding on the 
Massachusetts frontier: ^^We are a wicked, profane 
army, especially the New York and Rhode Island 
troops. Nothing to be heard among a great part of 
them but the language of Hell. If Crown Point is 
taken, it will not be for our stJses, but for those good 
people left behind." ^ There was edifying regularity 
in respect to form. Sermons twice a week, daily 
prayers, and frequent psalm-singing alternated with 
the much-needed military drill.* "Prayers among 
us night and morning," writes Private Jonathaii 
Caswell, of Massachusetts, to his father. " Here we 
lie, knowing not when we shall march for Crown 
Point; but I hope not long to tarry. Desiring your 

^ Papers of Colonel Israel Williams. 
* Massachusetts Archives, 

804 DIESKAU. [1756. 

prayers to God for me as I am agoing to war, I am 
Your Ever Dutiful Son."i 

To Pomeroy and some of his brothers in arms it 
seemed that they were engaged in a kind of crusade 
against the myrmidons of Rome. ^^ As you have at 
heart the Protestant cause, " he wrote to his friend 
Israel Williams, ^' so I ask an interest in your prayers 
that the Lord of Hosts would go forth with us and 
give us victory over our unreasonable, encroaching, 
barbarous, murdering enemies.'' 

Both Williams the surgeon and Williams the 
colonel chafed at the incessant delays. '^ The expe- 
dition goes on very much as a snail runs," writes the 
former to his wife; ^4t seems we may possibly see 
Crown Point tiiis time twelve months." The colonel 
was vexed because everything was out of joint in the 
department of transportation: wagoners mutinous for 
want of pay; ordnance stores, camp-ketties, and 
provisions left behind. ^^ As to rum," he complains, 
"it won't hold out nine weeks. Things appear 
most melancholy to me." Even as he was writing, a 
report came of the defeat of Braddock ; and, shocked 
at the blow, his pen traced the words: "The Lord 
have mercy on poor New England 1 " 

Johnson had sent four Mohawk scouts to Canada. 
They returned on the twenty-first of August with 
the report that the French were all astir witii prepa- 
ration, and that eight thousand men were coming to 
defend Crown Point. On this a council of war was 

1 Jonathan Caswell to John Caswell, 6 July, 1755. 


called; and it was resolved to send to the several 
colonies for reinforcements.^ Meanwhile the main 
body had moved up the river to the spot called the 
Great Carrying Place, where Lyman had begun a 
fortified storehouse, which his men called Fort 
Lyman, but which was afterwards named Fort 
Edward. Two Indian trails led from this point to 
the waters of Lake Champlain, one by way of Lake 
George, and the other by way of Wood Creek. 
There was doubt which course the army should take. 
A road was begun to Wood Creek; then it was 
countermanded, and a party was sent to explore the 
path to Lake George. "With submission to the 
general officers," Surgeon Williams again writes, "I 
think it a very grand mistake that the business of 
reconnoitring was not done months agone." It was 
resolved at last to march for Lake George ; gangs of 
axemen were sent to hew out the way; and on the 
twenty-sixth two thousand men were ordered to the 
lake, while Colonel Blanchard, of New Hampshire, 
remained with five hundred to finish and defend Fort 

The train of Dutch wagons, guarded by the homely 
soldiery, jolted slowly over the stumps and roots of 
the newly made road, and the regiments followed at 
their leisure. The hardships of the way were not 
without their consolations. The jovial Irishman who 
held the chief command made himself very agreeable 

1 Minutes of Council of War, 22 August, 1765. Epkraim WUUamM 
to Benjamin Dwight, 22 August, 1756. 
VOL. X. — 20 

806 DIESKAU. [1765L 

to the New England ofiBcers. ^ We went on about 
four or five miles," 8a3n9 Pomeroy in his Journal, 
^^then stopped, ate pieces of broken bread and cheese, 
and drank some fresh lemon-punch and the best of 
wine with General Johnson and some of the field- 
ofiBcers. " It was the same on the next day. '^ Stopped 
about noon and dined with General Johnson by a 
small brook under a tree ; ate a good dinner of cold 
boiled and roast venison; drank good fresh lemon- 
punch and wine." 

That afternoon they reached their destination, 
fourteen miles from Fort Lyman. The most beauti- 
ful lake in America lay before them; then more 
beautiful than now, in the wild charm of untrodden 
mountains and virgin forests. ^' I have given it the 
name of Lake George," wrote Johnson to the Lords 
of Trade, "not only in honor of His Majesty, but to 
ascertain his undoubted dominion here." His men 
made their camp on a piece of rough ground by the 
edge of the water, pitching their tents among the 
stumps of the newly felled trees. In their front was 
a forest of pitch-pine ; on their right, a marsh, choked 
with alders and swamp-maples ; on their left, the low 
hill where Fort George was afterwards built; and at 
their rear, the lake. Little was done to clear the 
forest in front, though it would give excellent cover 
to an enemy. Nor did Johnson take much pains to 
learn the movements of the French in the direction 
of Crown Point, though he sent scouts towards South 
Bay and Wood Creek. Every day stores and bateaux, 

1755.] SUNDAY IN CAMP. 307 

or flat boats, came on wagons from Fort Lyman; and 
preparation moved on with the leisure that had 
marked it from the first. About three hundred 
Mohawks came to the camp, and were regarded by 
the New England men as nuisances. On Sunday 
the gray-haired Stephen Williams preached to these 
savage allies a long Calvinistic sermon, which must 
have sorely perplexed the interpreter whose business 
it was to turn it into Mohawk; and in the afternoon 
young Chaplain Newell, of Rhode Island, expounded 
to the New England men the somewhat untimely 
text, "Love your enemies." On the next Sunday, 
September seventh, Williams preached again, this 
time to the whites from a text in Isaiah. It was a 
peaceful day, fair and warm, with a few light 
showers; yet not wholly a day of rest, for two hun- 
dred wagons came up from Fort Lyman, loaded with 
bateaux. After the sermon there was an alarm. 
An Indian scout came in about sunset, and reported 
that he had found the trail of a body of men moving 
from South Bay towards Fort Lyman. Johnson 
called for a volunteer to carry a letter of warning 
to Colonel Blanchard, the commander. A wagoner 
named Adams offered himself for the perilous service, 
mounted, and galloped along the road with the letter. 
Sentries were posted, and the camp fell asleep. 

While Johnson lay at Lake George, Dieskau pre- 
pared a surprise for him. The German baron had 
reached Crown Point at the head of three thousand 
five hundred and seventy-three men, regulars, Cana* 

808 DIESKAU. [1765. 

dians, and Indians.' He had no thought of waiting 
there to be attacked. The troops were told to hold 
themselves ready to move at a moment's notice. 
OflScers — so ran the order — will take nothing with 
them but one spare shirt, one spare pair of shoes, a 
blanket, a bearskin, and provisions for twelve da3n3 ; 
Indians are not to amuse themselves by taking scalps 
till the enemy is entirely defeated, since they can kill 
ten men in the time required to scalp one.^ Then 
Dieskau moved on, with nearly all his force, to 
Carillon, or Ticonderoga, a promontory commanding 
both the routes by which alone Johnson could 
advance, that of Wood Creek and that of Lake 

The Indian allies were commanded by Legardeur 
de Saint-Pierre, the officer who had received Wash- 
ington on his embassy to Fort Le BoBuf. These 
unmanageable warriors were a constant annoyance to 
Dieskau, being a species of humanity quite new to 
him. "They drive us crazy," he says, "from morn- 
ing till night. There is no end to their demands. 
They have already eaten five oxen and as many hogs, 
without counting the kegs of brandy they have 
drunk. In short, one needs the patience of an angel 
to get on with these devils ; and yet one must always 
force himself to seem pleased with them." ^ 

They would scarcely even go out as scouts. At 

1 Vaudreui! au Minittre, 26 Septembre, 1765. 
■ Livre (TOrdreSj Ao4t, Septembre, 1755. 
' Dieskau a Vaudreuil, 1 Stptemhre^ 1755. 

1756.] THE ADVANCE 809 

last, however, on the fourth of September, a recon- 
noitring party came in with a scalp and an English 
prisoner caught near Fort Lyman. He was ques- 
tioned under the threat of being given to the Indians 
for torture if he did not tell the truth; but, noth- 
ing daunted, he invented a patriotic falsehood; and 
thinking to lure his captors into a trap, told them 
that the English army had fallen back to Albany, 
leaving five hundred men at Fort Lyman, which he 
represented as indefensible. Dieskau resolved on a 
rapid movement to seize the place. At noon of the 
same day, leaving a part of his force at Ticonderoga, 
he embarked the rest in canoes and advanced along 
the narrow prolongation of Lake Champlain that 
stretched southward through the wilderness to where 
the town of Whitehall now stands. He soon came 
to a point where the lake dwindled to a mere canal, 
while two mighty rocks, capped with stunted forests, 
faced each other from the opposing banks. Here he 
left an ofiBcer named Roquemaure with a detachment 
of troops, and again advanced along a belt of quiet 
water traced through the midst of a deep marsh, 
green at that season with sedge and water-weeds, and 
known to the English as the Drowned Lands. 
Beyond, on either hand, crags feathered with birch 
and fir, or hills mantled with woods, looked down on 
the long procession of canoes.^ As they neared the 
site of Whitehall, a passage opened on the right, the 

^ I passed this way three weeks ago. There are some pdnti 
where the scene is not much changed since Dieskau saw it. 

810 DIESKAU. [175a 

entrance to a sheet of lonely water slumbering in the 
shadow of woody mountains, and forming the lake 
then, as now, called South Bay. They advanced to 
its head, landed where a small stream enters it, left 
the canoes under a guard, and began their march 
through the forest. They counted in all two 
hundred and sixteen regulars of the battalions of 
Languedoc and La Reine, six hundred and eighty-four 
Canadians, and about six hundred Indians.^ Every 
officer and man carried provisions for eight dajrs in 
his knapsack. They encamped at night by a brook, 
and in the morning, after hearing mass, marched 
again. The evening of the next day brought them 
near the road that led to Lake George. Fort Lyman 
was but three miles distant. A man on horseback 
galloped by; it was Adams, Johnson's unfortunate 
messenger. The Indians shot him, and found the 
letter in his pocket. Soon after, ten or twelve 
wagons appeared in charge of mutinous drivers, who 
had left the English camp without orders. Several 
of them were shot, two were taken, and the rest ran 
off. The two captives declared that, contrary to the 
assertion of the prisoner at Ticonderoga, a large force 
lay encamped at the lake. The Indians now held a 
council, and presently gave out that they would not 
attack the fort, which they thought well supplied 
with cannon, but that they were willing to attack 
the camp at Lake George. Remonstrance was lost 
upon them. Dieskau was not young, but he was 

^ M^moire aur I' Affaire du 8 Septembre, 


daring to rashness, and inflamed to emulation by the 
victory over Braddock. The enemy were reported 
greatly to outnumber him; but his Canadian advisers 
had assured him that the English colony militia were 
the worst troops on the face of the earth. "The 
more there are," he said to the Canadians and 
Indians, "the more we shall kill;" and in the morn- 
ing the order was given to march for the lake. 

They moved rapidly on through the waste of pines, 
and soon entered the rugged valley that led to 
Johnson's camp. ^On their right was a gorge where, 
shadowed in bushes, gurgled a gloomy brook; and 
beyond rose the cliffs that buttressed the rocky 
heights of French Mountain, seen by glimpses 
between the boughs. On their left rose gradually 
the lower slopes of West Mountain. All was rock, 
thicket, and forest ; there was no open space but the 
road along which the regulars marched, while the 
Canadians and Indians pushed their way through 
the woods in such order as the broken ground would 

They were three miles from the lake, when their 
scouts brought in a prisoner who told them that a 
column of English troops was approaching. Dieskau's 
preparations were quickly made. While the regulars 
halted on the road, the Canadians and Indians moved 
to the front, where most of them hid in the forest 
along the slopes of West Mountain, and the rest lay 
close among the thickets on the other side. Thus, 
when the English advanced to attack the regulars in 

812 DIESKAU. (175& 

front, they would find themselves caught in a double 
ambush. No sight or sound betrayed the snare; but 
behind every bush crouched a Canadian or a savage, 
with gun cocked and ears intent, listening for the 
tramp of the approaching column. 

The wagoners who escaped the evening before had 
reached the camp about midnight, and reported that 
there was a war-party on the road near Fort Lyman. 
Johnson had at this time twenty-two hundred effec- 
tive men, besides his three hundred Indians.^ He 
called a council of war in the morning, and a resolu- 
tion was taken which can only be explained by a 
complete misconception as to the force of the French. 
It was determined to send out two detachments of 
five hundred men each, one towards Fort Lyman, 
and the other towards South Bay, the object being, 
accoTding to Johnson, " to catch the enemy in their 
retreat.*'* Hendrick, chief of the Mohawks, a brave 
and sagacious warrior, expressed his dissent after a 
fashion of his own. He picked up a stick and broke 
it; then he picked up several sticks, and showed 
that together they could not be broken. The hint 
was taken, and the two detachments were joined in 
one. Still the old savage shook his head. ^^ If they 
are to be killed," he said, "they are too many; if 

* Wraxall to Lieutenant-Governor Delancey, 10 September, 1756. 
Wraxall was Johnson's aide-de-camp and secretary. The Second 
Letter to a Friend says twenty-one hundred whites and two hundred 
or three hundred Indians. Blodget, who was also on the spot, sets 
the whites at two thousand. 

* Letter to the Governors of the Several Colonies , 9 September, 1755. 

1755.] THE AMBUSH. 818 

they are to fight, they are too few." Nevertheless, 
he resolved to share their fortunes; and mounting on 
a gun-carriage, he harangued his warriors with a 
voice so animated and gestures so expressive that 
the New England officers listened in admiration, 
though they understood not a word. One difficulty 
remained. He was too old and fat to go afoot; but 
Johnson lent him a horse, which he bestrode, and 
trotted to the head of the column, followed by two 
hundred of his warriors as fast as they could grease, 
paint, and befeather themselves. 

Captain Elisha Hawley was in his tent, finishing a 
letter which he had just written to his brother Joseph ; 
and these were the last words: ^^I am this minute 
agoing out in company with five hundred men to see 
if we can intercept 'em in their retreat, or find their 
canoes in the Drowned Lands; and therefore must 
conclude this letter." He closed and directed it; 
and in an hour received his death-wound. 

It was soon after eight o'clock when Ephraim 
Williams ^left the camp wiiSi his regiment, marched 
a little distance, and then waited for the rest of 
the detachment under Lieutenant-Colonel Whiting. 
Thus Dieskau had full time to l&y his ambush. 
When Whiting came up, the whole moved on to- 
gether, so little conscious of danger that no scouts 
were thrown out in front or flank; and, in fuU 
security, they entered the fatal snare. Before they 
were completely involved in it, the sharp eye of old 
Hendrick detected some sign of an enemy. At that 


814 DIESKAU. [17» 

instant, whether by accident or design, a gun was 
fired from the bushes. It is said that Dieskau's 
Iroquois, seeing Mohawks, their relatives, in the van, 
wished to warn them of danger. If so, the warning 
came too late. The thickets on the left blazed out a 
deadly fire, and the men fell by scores. In the 
words of Dieskau, the head of the column ^^was 
doubled up like a pack of cards.*' Hendrick's horse 
was shot down, and the chief was killed with a bayo- 
net as he tried to rise. Williams, seeing a rising 
ground on his right, made for it, ciing on his men 
to follow ; but as he climbed the slope, guns flashed 
from the bushes, and a shot through the brain laid 
him dead. The men in the rear pressed forward to 
support their comrades, when a hot fire was suddenly 
opened on them from the forest along their right 
flank. Then there was a panic; some fled outright, 
and the whole column recoiled. The van now 
became the rear, and all the force of the enemy rushed 
upon it, shouting and screeching. There was a 
moment of total confusion; but a part of Williams's 
regiment rallied under command of Whiting, and 
covered the retreat, fighting behind trees like Indians, 
and firing and falling back by turns, bravely aided 
by some of the Mohawks and by a detachment which 
Johnson sent to their aid. ^^ And a very handsome 
retreat they made," writes Pomeroy; "and so con- 
tinued till they came within about three quarters of 
a mile of our camp. This was the last fire our men 
gave our enemies, which killed great numbers of 


them; they were seen to drop as pigeons." So ended 
the fray long known in New England fireside storjr 
as the ^^ bloody morning scout. ** Dieskau now ordered 
a halt, and sounded his trumpets to collect his scat- 
tered men. His Indians, however, were sullen and 
unmanageable, and the Canadians also showed signs 
of wavering. The veteran who commanded them 
all, Legardeur de Saint-Pierre, had been killed. At 
length they were persuaded to move again, the 
regulars leading the way. 

About an hour after Williams and his men had 
begun their march, a distant rattle of musketry was 
heard at the camp; and as it grew nearer and louder, 
the listeners knew that their comrades were on the 
retreat. Then, at the eleventh hour, preparations 
were begun for defence. A sort of barricade was 
made along the front of the camp, partly of wagons, 
and partly of inverted bateaux, but chiefly of the 
trunks of trees hastily hewn down in the neighboring 
forest and laid end to end in a single row. The line 
extended from the southern slopes of the hill on the 
left across a tract of rough ground to the marshes on 
the right. The forest, choked with bushes and 
climips of rank ferns, was within a few yards of the 
barricade, and there was scarcely time to hack away 
the intervening thickets. Three cannon were planted 
to sweep the road that descended through the pines, 
and another was dragged up to the ridge of the hill. 
The defeated party began to come in; first, scared 
fugitives both white and red; then, gangs of men 

816 DIESKAU. [1755 

bringing the wounded; and at last, an hour and a 
half after the first fire was heard, the main detach- 
ment was seen marching in compact bodies down the 

Five himdred men were detailed to guard the 
flanks of the camp. The rest stood behind the 
wagons or lay flat behind the logs and inverted 
bateaux, the Massachusetts men on the right, and 
the Connecticut men on the left. Besides Indians, 
this actual fighting force was between sixteen and 
seventeen hundred rustics, very few of whom had 
been under fire before that morning. They were 
hardly at their posts when they saw ranks of white- 
coated soldiers moving down the road, and bayonets 
that to them seemed innumerable glittering between 
the boughs. At the same time a terrific burst of 
war-whoops rose along the front ; and, in the words 
of Pomeroy, "the Canadians and Indians, helter- 
skelter, the woods full of them, came running with 
undaunted courage right down the hill upon us, 
expecting to make us fiee.*' ^ Some of the men grew 
xmeasy; while the chief oflBcers, sword in hand, 
threatened instant death to any who should stir from 
their posts.' If Dieskau had made an assault at that 
instant, there could be little doubt of the result. 

This he well knew; but he was powerless. He 
had his small force of regulars well in hand ; but the 
rest, red and white, were beyond control, scattering 

» Seth Pomeroy to his Wife, 10 September, 1766. 

* Dr. Perex Marsh to William Williams, 26 September, 1756. 


through the woods and swamps, shouting, yelling, 
and firing from behind trees. The regulars advanced 
with intrepidity towards the^camp where the trees 
were thin, deployed, and fired by platoons, till Cap- 
tain Eyre, who commanded the artillery, opened on 
them with grape, broke their ranks, and compelled 
them to take to cover. The fusillade was now 
general on both sides, and soon grew furious. " Per- 
haps,*' Seth Pomeroy wrote to his wife, two days 
after, " the hailstones from heaven were never much 
thicker than their bullets came; but, blessed be 
God ! that did not in the least daunt or disturb us. '* 
Johnson received a flesh-wound in the thigh, and 
spent the rest of the day in his tent. Lyman took 
command; and it is a marvel that he escaped alive, 
for he was four hours in the heat of the fire, directing 
and animating the men. ^^It was the most awful 
day my eyes ever beheld,*' wrote Surgeon Williams 
to his wife ; " there seemed to be nothing but thunder 
and lightning and perpetual pillars of smoke." To 
him, his colleague Doctor Pynchon, one assistant, 
and a young student called "Billy," fell the charge 
of the woimded of his regiment. ** The bullets flew 
about our ears all the time of dressing them; so we 
thought best to leave our tent and retire a few rods 
behind the shelter of a log-house." On the adjacent 
hill stood one Blodget, who seems to have been a 
sutler, watching, as well as bushes, trees, and smoke 
would let him, the progress of the fight, of which he 
soon after made and published a curious bird's-eye 

818 DIESKAU. [175& 

view. As the wounded men were carried to the 
rear, the wagoners about the camp took their guns 
and powder-horns, and joined in the fray. A 
Mohawk, seeing one of these men still unarmed, 
leaped over the barricade, tomahawked the nearest 
Canadian, snatched his gun, and darted back imhurt 
The brave savage found no imitators among his tribes- 
men, most of whom did nothing but utter a few war- 
whoops, saying that they had come to see their 
English brothers fight. Some of the French Indians 
opened a distant flank fire from the high ground 
beyond the swamp on the right, but were driven off 
by a few shells dropped among them. 

Dieskau had directed his first attack against the 
left and centre of Johnson's position. Making no 
impression here, he tried to force the right, where 
lay the regiments of Titcomb, Ruggles, and Williams. 
The fire was hot for about an hour. Titcomb was 
shot dead, a rod in front of the barricade, firing from 
behind a tree like a common soldier. At length 
Dieskau, exposing himself within short range of the 
English line, was hit in the leg. His adjutant, 
Montreuil, himself wounded, came to his aid, and 
was washing the injured limb with brandy, when the 
unfortunate commander was again hit in the knee 
and thigh. He seated himself behind a tree, while 
the adjutant called two Canadians to carry him to 
the rear. One of them was instantly shot down. 
Montreuil took his place ; but Dieskau refused to be 
moved, bitterly denounced the Canadians and Indians, 

1755.] ROUT OF THE FRENCH. 819 

and ordered the adjutant to leave him and lead the 
regulars in a last effort against the camp. 

It was too late. Johnson^s men, singly or in small 
squads, were already crossing their row of logs ; and 
in a few moments the whole dashed forward with a 
shout, falling upon the enemy with hatchets and the 
butts of their guns. The French and their allies 
fled. The wounded general still sat helpless by the 
tree, when he saw a soldier aiming at him. He 
signed to the man not to fire; but he pulled trigger, 
shot him across the hips, leaped upon him, and 
ordered him in French to surrender. "I said,*' 
writes Dieskau, "*You rascal, why did you fire? 
You see a man lying in his Wood on the ground, 
and you shoot him I' He answered: ^ How did I 
know that you had not got a pistol ? I had rather 
kill the devil than have the devil kill me.' ^You 
are a Frenchman? ' I asked. ^ Yes,' he replied; ^ it 
is more than ten years since I left Canada; ' where- 
upon several others fell on me and stripped me. I 
told them to carry me to their general, which they 
did. On learning who I was, he sent for surgeons, 
and, though wounded himself, refused all assistance 
till my wounds were dressed." ^ 

It was near five o'clock when the final rout took 
place. Some time before, several hundred of the 

1 Dialogue entre It Mar€chal de Saxe et It Baron de Dieskau aux 
Champa Elye€ee, This paper it in the Archiyet de la Guerre, and 
was eyidently written or inspired by Dietkaa himself. In spite of 
its fanciful form it is a sober statement of the events of the can»- 
paign. There is a translation of it in N, Y. Col, Docs., x. 840. 

820 DIESKAU. [175S. 

Canadians and Indians had left the field and returned 
to the scene of the morning fight, to plunder and 
scalp the dead. They were resting themselves near 
a pool in the forest, close beside the road, when their 
repose was interrupted by a volley of bullets. It 
was fired by a scouting party from Fort Lyman, 
chiefly backwoodsmen, under Captains Folsom and 
McGinnis. The assailants were greatly outnumbered ; 
but after a hard fight the Canadians and Indians 
broke and fled. McGinnis was mortally wounded. 
He continued to give orders till the firing was over; 
then fainted, and was carried, dying, to the camp. 
The bodies of the slain, according to tradition, were 
thrown into the pool, which bears to this day the 
name of Bloody Pond. 

The various bands of fugitives rejoined each other 
towards night, and encamped in the forest, then 
made their way round the southern shoulder of 
French Mountain, till, in the next evening, they 
reached their canoes. Their plight was deplorable; 
for they had left their knapsacks behind, and were 
spent with fatigue and famine. 

Meanwhile their captive general was not yet out 
of danger. The Mohawks were furious at their 
losses in the ambush of the morning, and above all 
at the death of Hendrick. Scarcely were Dieskau's 
woimds dressed, when several of them came into the 
tent. There was a long and angry dispute in their 
own language between them and Johnson, after 
which they went out very sullenly. Dieskau asked 


what they wanted. "What do they want?'* returned 
Johnson. "To bum you, by God, eat you, and 
smoke you in their pipes, in revenge for three or four 
of their chiefs that were killed. But never fear; 
you shall be safe with me, or else they shall kill us 
both." ^ The Mohawks soon came back, and another 
talk ensued, excited at first, and then more calm; 
till at length the visitors, seemingly appeased, smiled, 
gave Dieskau their hands in sign of friendship, and 
quietly went out again. Johnson warned him that 
he was not yet safe ; and when the prisoner, fearing 
that his presence might incommode his host, asked 
to be removed to another tent, a captain and fifty 
men were ordered to guard him. In the morning 
an Indian, alone and apparently unarmed, loitered 
abput the entrance, and the stupid sentinel let him 
pass in. He immediately drew a sword from under 
a sort of cloak which he wore, and tried to stab 
Dieskau, but was prevented by the colonel to whom 
the tent belonged, who seized upon him, took away 
his sword, and pushed him out. As soon as his 
wounds would permit, Dieskau was carried on a 
litter, strongly escorted, to Fort Lyman, whence he 
was sent to Albany, and afterwards to New York. 
He is profuse in expressions of gratitude for the 
kindness shown him by the colonial officers, and 
especially by Johnson. Of the provincial soldiers he 

1 See the story as told by Dieskau to the celebrated Diderot, at 
Paris, in 1760. M€moirta de Dideroi, i. 402 (1890). Compare N. T 
Coi, Doc$,y z. 843. 

TOL. I. — 21 

822 DIESKAU. [1755. 

remarked soon after the battle that in the morning 
they fought like good boys, about noon like men, and 
in the afternoon like devils.^ In the spring of 1757 
he sailed for England, and was for a time at Fal* 
mouth; whence Colonel Matthew Sewell, fearing 
that he might see and learn too much, wrote to the 
Earl of Holdemesse : ^^ The Baron has great penetra- 
tion and quickness of apprehension. His long ser- 
vice under Marshal Saxe renders him a man of real 
consequence, to be cautiously observed. His cir- 
cumstances deserve compassion, for indeed they are 
very melancholy, and I much doubt of his being ever 
perfectly cured." He was afterwards a long time at 
Bath, for the benefit of the waters. In 1760 the 
famous Diderot met him at Paris, cheerful and full 
of anecdote, though wretchedly shattered by his 
wounds. He died a few years later. 

On the night after the battle the yeomen warriors 
felt the truth of the saying that, next to defeat, the 
saddest thing is victory. Comrades and friends by 
scores lay scattered through the forest. As soon as 
he c6uld snatch a moment's leisure, the overworked 
surgeon sent the dismal tidings to his wife: ^^My 
dear brother Ephraim was killed by a ball through 
his head; poor brother Josiah's wound I fear wiU 
prove mortal; poor Captain Hawley is yet alive, 
though I did not think he would live two hours after 
bringing him in." Daniel Pomeroy was shot dead; 
and his brother Seth vrrote the news to his wife 

^ Dr. Peru Mar$h to William William$, 25 September, 1755 

1765.] AFTER THE BATTLE. 828 

Rachel, who was just delivered of a child: **Deai 
Sister, this brings heavy tidings; but let not your 
heart sink at the news, though it be your loss of 
a dear husband. Monday the eighth instant was a 
memorable day; and truly you may say, had not the 
Lord been on our side, we must all have been swal- 
lowed up. My brother, being one that went out in 
the first engagement, received a fatal shot through 
the middle of the head." Seth Pomeroy found a 
moment to write also to his own wife, whom he tells 
that another attack is expected; adding, in quaintly 
pious phrase: '^But as God hath begun to show 
mercy, I hope he will go on to be gracious." Pomeroy 
was employed during the next few days with four 
hundred men in what he calls ^^ the melancholy piece 
of business" of burying the dead. A letter-writer 
of the time does not approve what was done on this 
occasion. "Our people," he says, "not only buried 
the French dead, but buried as many of them as 
might be without the knowledge of our Indians, to 
prevent their being scalped. This I call an excess of 
civility;" his reason being that Braddock's dead 
soldiers had been left to the wolves. 

The English loss in killed, wounded, and missing 
was two hundred and sixty-two;^ and that of the 
French by their own account, two hundred and 
twenty-eight,* — a somewhat modest result of five 

1 Return of Killed, Wounded, and Miuting at the Battle of Lake 

* Doreil au Ministre, 20 Octohre, 1756. Surgeon WilUamt gixet 

824 DIESKAU. [1750. 

jiours' fighting. The English loss was chiefly in the 
ambush of the morning, where the killed greatly 
outnumbered the wounded, because those who fell 
and could not be carried away were tomahawked by 
Dieskau's Indians. In the fight at the camp, both 
Indians and Canadians kept themselves so well under 
cover that it was very diflficult for the New England 
men to pick them off, while they on their part lay 
close behind their row of logs. On the French side, 
the regular officers and troops bore the brunt of the 
battle and suffered the chief loss, nearly all of the 
former and nearly half of the latter being killed or 

Johnson did not follow up his success. He says 
that his men were tired. Yet five hundred of them 
had stood still all day, and boats enough for their 
transportation were lying on the beach. Ten miles 
down the lake, a path led over a gorge of the moun- 
tains to South Bay, where Dieskau had left his 
canoes and provisions. It needed but a few hours to 
reach and destroy them; but no such attempt was 
made. Nor, till a week after, did Johnson send out 
scouts to learn the strength of the enemy at Ticon- 
deroga. Lyman strongly urged him to make an 
effort to seize that important pass; but Johnson 
thought only of holding his own position. " I think," 
he wrote, "we may expect very shortly a more 

the English loss as two hundred and sixteen killed, and ninety-six 
wounded. Pomeroy thinks that the French lost four or fiye hun 
dred. Johnson places their loss at four hundred. 


formidable attack.*' He made a solid breastwork to 
defend his camp; and as reinforcements arrived, set 
them at building a fort on a rising ground by the 
lake. It is true that just after the battle he was 
deficient in stores, and had not bateaux enough to 
move his whole force. It is true, also, that he was 
wounded, and that he was too jealous of Lyman to 
delegate the command to him ; and so the days passed 
till, within a fortnight, his nimble enemy were in<^ 
trenched at Ticonderoga in force enough to defy him. 
The Crown Point expedition was a failure dis- 
guised under an incidental success. The northern 
provinces, especially Massachusetts and Connecticut, 
did what they could to forward it, and after the 
battle sent a herd of raw recruits to the scene of 
action. Shirley wrote to Johnson from Oswego; 
declared that his reasons for not advancing were 
insufficient, and urged him to push for Ticonderoga 
at once. Johnson replied that he had not wagons 
enough, and that his troops were Ul-clothed, ill-fed, 
discontented, insubordinate, and sickly. He com- 
plained that discipline was out of the question, 
because the officers were chosen by popular election; 
that many of them were no better than the men, 
unfit for command, and like so many ^^ heads of a 
mob.*'^ The reinforcements began to come in, till, 
in October, there were thirty-six hundred men in the 
camp; and as most of them wore summer clothing 

1 Shirley to Johnson, 19 September, 1756. Ibid,, 24 September, 
1766. Johnson to Shirley, 22 September, 1756. Johnson to Phipps, 10 
October, 1756 (Massachusetts Archiyes). 

826 DIESKAU. [1755. 

and had but one thin domestic blanket, they were 
half frozen in the chill autumn nights. 

Johnson called a council of war; and as he was 
suffering from inflamed eyes, and was stiU kept in 
his tent by his wound, he asked Lyman to preside, 
— not unwilling, perhaps, to shift the responsibility 
upon him. After several sessions and much debate, 
the assembled officers decided that it was inexpedient 
to proceed.^ Yet the army lay more than a month 
longer at the lake, while the disgust of the men 
increased daily under the rains, frosts, and snows of 
a dreary November. On the twenty-second, Chandler, 
chaplain of one of the Massachusetts regiments, 
wrote in the interleaved almanac that served him as 
a diary: ^^The men just ready to mutiny. Some 
clubbed their firelocks and marched, but returned 
back. Very rainy night. Miry water standing in 
the tents. Very distressing time among the sick.'* 
The men grew more and more unruly, and went off 
in squads without asking leave. A difficult question 
arose: Who should stay for the winter to garrison 
the new forts, and who should command them ? It 
was settled at last that a certain number of soldiers 
from each province should be assigned to this un- 
grateful service, and that Massachusetts should have 
the first officer, Connecticut the second, and New 
York the third. Then the camp broke up. " Thurs- 
day the 27th," wrote the chaplain in his almanac, 
^^ we set out about ten of the clock, marched in a 

1 Reports of Council of War, 11-21 October, 1766. 


body, about three thousand, the wagons and baggage 
in the centre, our colonel much insulted by the 
way." The soldiers dispersed to their villages and 
farms, where in blustering winter nights, by the 
blazing logs of New England hearthstones, they told 
their friends and neighbors the story of the campaign. 
The profit of it fell to Johnson. If he did not 
gather the fruits of victory, at least he reaped its 
laurels. He was a courtier in his rough way. He 
had changed the name of Lac St. Sacrement to Lake 
George, in compUment to the King. He now 
changed that of Fort Lyman to Fort Edward, in com- 
pliment to one of the King's grandsons; and, in com- 
pliment to another, called his new fort at the lake, 
William Henry. Of General Lyman he made no 
mention in his report of the battle, and his partisans 
wrote letters traducinjj that brave officer; though 
Johnson is said to have confessed in private that he 
owed him the victory. He himself found no lack of 
eulogists; and, to quote the words of an able but 
somewhat caustic and prejudiced opponent, ^^to the 
panegyrical pen of his secretary, Mr. Wraxall, and 
the sic volo sic jvieo of Lieutenant-Governor Delancey, 
is to be ascribed that mighty renown which echoed 
through the colonies, reverberated to Europe, and 
elevated a raw, inexperienced youth into a kind of 
second Marlborough."^ Parliament gave him five 

^ R^mew of Military Operatiom in North America, in a Lttter to a 
Nobleman (ascribed to WUliam liyingston). 

On the Battle of Lake George a matt of papers wiU be found in 

828 DIESKAU. [17U 

thousand pounds, and the King made him a 

the N» Y, Col. Docs., vols. ti. and z. Those in VoL VL, taken 
chieflj from the archives of New York, consist of official and pri- 
rate letters, reports, etc., on the English side. Those in Vol. X. 
are drawn chieflj from the archiyes of the French War Depart- 
ment, and include the correspondence of Dieskau and his adjutant 
Montreuil. I have examined most of them in the original. Besides 
these I have obtained from the Archives de la Marine and other 
sources a number of important additional papers, which have never 
been printed, including Vaudreuirs reports to the Minister of War, 
and his strictures on Dieskau, whom he accuses of disobejing 
orders bj dividing his force ; also the translation of an English 
journal of the campaign found in the pocket of a captured officer, 
and a long account of the battle sent bj Bigot to the minister of 
marine, 4 October, 1755. 

I owe to the kindness of Theodore Pomeroj, Esq., a copj of the 
Journal of Lieutenant-Colonel Seth Pomeroj, whose letters also are 
full of interest ; as are those of Surgeon Williams, from the coUec- 
tion of William L. Stone, Esq. The papers of Colonel Israel Wil- 
liams, in the Library of the Massachusetts Historical Society, con- 
tain many other curious letters relating to the campaign, extracts 
from some of which are given in the text. One of the most curious 
records of the battle is A Prospective-Plan of the Battle near Lake 
George f with an Explanation thereof, containing a full, though short. His- 
tory of that important Affair, by Samuel Blodget, occasionally at the 
Camp when the Battle tnas fought. It is an engraving, printed at 
Boston soon after the fight, of which it gives a clear idea. Font 
years after, Blodget opened a shop in Boston, where, as appears by 
his advertiseraonts in the newspapers, he sold " English (roods, also 
English Hatts, etc." The Engraving is reproduced in the Docu- 
mentary History of New York, iv., and elsewhere. The Explanation 
thereof is only to be found complete in the original. This, as well 
as the anonymous Second Letter to a Friend, also printed at Boston 
in 1755, is excellent for the information it ffives as to the condition 
of the g^und where the confiict took place, and the position of the 
combatants. The unpublished Archives of Massachusetts; the 
correspondence of Sir William Johnson ; the Review of Military 
Operations in North A merica ; Dwight, Travels in New England and 
New York, ill. ; and Hoyt, Antiquarian Researches on Indian Wars, 

1755.] A COLONIAL POET. 829 

— should also be mentioned. Dwight and Hoyt drew their Inf orma 
tion from aged snnriTors of the battle. I hare repeatedly examined 
the localities. 

In the odd efFnsion of the colonial mnse called Tilden'g Poems, 
chiefly to Animate and Route the Soldien, printed 1766, is a piece 
stjled The Christian Hero, or New England's Triumph, beginning 
with the invocation, — 

'' O Heaven, indulge mj feeble Mose, 
Teach her what numbers for to choose 1 " 

and containing the following stanza, — 

** Their Dieskan we from them detain, 
While Canada aloud complains 
And counts the numbers of their slain 

And makes a diro complaint ; 

'i iie Indians to their demon gods; 

And with the French there 's little odds, 

While images receive their nods, 

Invoking rotten saints.*' 


1755, 1756. 


The Niagara Campaioh. — Albaht. — March to Oswego. — 
Difficulties. — The Expedition abandoned. — Shirley and 
Johnson. — Results of the Campaign. — The Scourge of 
THE Border. — Trials of Washington. — Misery of the 
Settlers. — Horror of their Situation. — Philadelphia 
AND THE Quakers. — Disputes with the Penns. — Democ- 
racy AND Feudalism. — Pennsylvanian Population. — Ap- 
peals FROM THE Frontier. — Quarrel of Governor and 
Assembly. — Help refused. — Desperation of the Border- 
ers. — Fire and Slaughter. — The Assembly alarmed: they 
PASS A Mock Militia Law; they are forced to yield. 

The capture of Niagara was to finish the work of 
the summer. This alone would have gained for 
England the control of the valley of the Ohio, and 
made Braddock's expedition superfluous. One 
marvels at the short-sightedness, the dissensions, the 
apathy which had left this key of the interior so long 
in the hands of France without an effort to wrest it 
from her. To master Niagara would be to cut the 
communications of Canada with the whole system of 
French forts and settlements in the West, and leave 
them to perish like limbs of a g^irdled tree. 

Major-General Shirley, in the flush of his new 
martial honors, was to try his prentice hand at the 
work. The lawyer-soldier could plan a campaign 

2766.] ALBANY. 881 

boldly and well. It remained to see how he would 
do his part towards executing it. In July he arrived 
at Albany, the starting-point of his own expedition 
as well as that of Johnson. This little Dutch city 
was an outpost of civilization. The Hudson, descend- 
ing from the northern wilderness, connected it with 
the lakes and streams that formed the thoroughfare 
to Canada; while the Mohawk, flowing from the 
west, was a liquid pathway to the forest homes of 
the Five Nations. Before the war was over, a little 
girl, Anne Mac Vicar, daughter of a Highland officer, 
was left at Albany by her father, and spent several 
years there in the house of Mrs. Schuyler, aunt of 
General Schuyler of the Revolution. Long after, 
married and middle-aged, she wrote down her recol- 
lections of the place, — the fort on the hill behind; 
the great street, grassy and broad, that descended 
thence to the river, with market, guard-house, town- 
hall, and two churches in the middle, and rows of 
quaint Dutch-built houses on both sides, each de- 
tached from its neighbors, each with its well, garden, 
and green, and ite great overshadowing tree. Before 
every house was a capacious porch, with seats where 
the people gathered in the summer twilight; old men 
at one door, matrons at another, young men and girls 
mingling at a third ; while the cows with their tinkling 
bells came from the common at the end of the town, 
each stopping to be milked at the door of its owner; 
and children, porringer in hand, sat on the steps, watch- 
ing the process and waiting their evening meaL 

882 SHIRLEY. — BORD£R WAR. [175& 

Such was the quiet piotuie painted on the memoiy 
of Anne MacVicar, and reproduced by the pen of 
Mrs. Anne Grant. ^ The patriarchal, semi-rural town 
had other aspects, not so pleasing. The men were 
mainly engaged in the fur-trade, sometimes legally 
with the Five Nations, and sometimes illegally with 
the Indians of Canada, — an occupation which by no 
means tends to soften the character. The Albany 
Dutch traders were a rude, hard race, loving money, 
and not always scrupulous as to the means of getting 
it. Coming events, too, were soon to have their 
effect on this secluded community. Regiments, red 
and blue, trumpets, drums, banners, artillery trains, 
and all the din of war transformed its peaceful 
streets, and brought some attaint to domestic morals 
hitherto commendable ; for during the next five years 
Albany was to be the principal base of military 
operations on the continent. 

Shirley had left the place, and was now on his way 
up the Mohawk. His force, much smaller than at 
first intended, consisted of the New Jersey regiment, 
which mustered five hundred men, known as the 
"Jersey Blues,** and of the fiftieth and fifty-first regi- 
ments, called respectively Shirley's and Pepperreirs. 
These, though paid by the King and counted as 
regulars, were in fact raw provincials, just raised in 
the colonies, and wearing their gay uniforms with an 

1 Memoirs of an American Lady (Bfrs. Schuyler), chap. yi. A 
genuine picture of colonial life, and a charming book, though far 
from being historically trustworthy. Compare the account of 
Albany in Kalm, iL 102. 


awkward, unaccustomed air. How they gloried in 
them may be gathered from a letter of Sergeant 
James Gray, of Pepperrell's, to his brother John: "I 
have two Holland shirts, found me by the King, and 
two pair of shoes and two pair of worsted stockings ; 
a good silver-laced hat (the lace I could sell for four 
dollars); and my clothes is as fine scarlet broadcloth 
as ever you did see. A sergeant here in the King's 
regiment is counted as good as an ensign with you; 
and one day in every week we must have our hair or 
wigs powdered."^ Most of these gorgeous warriors 
were already on their way to Oswego, their first 

Shirley followed, embarking at the Dutch village 
of Schenectady, and ascending the Mohawk with 
about two hundred of the so-called regulars in 
bateaux. They passed Fort Johnson, the two vil- 
lages of the Mohawks, and the Palatine settlement of 
German Flats ; left behind the last trace of civilized 
man, rowed sixty miles through a wilderness, and 
reached the Great Carrying Place, which divided the 
waters that flow to the Hudson from those that flow 
to Lake Ontario. Here now stands the city which 
the classic zeal of its founders has adorned with the 
name of Rome. Then all was swamp and forest, 
traversed by a track that led to Wood Creek, — which 
is not to be confounded with the Wood Creek of 
Lake Champlain. Thither the bateaux were dragged 
on sledges and launched on the dark and tortuous 

^ Jam€» Gray to John Gray, 11 JrUy^ 1766. 


stream, which, fed by a decoction of forest leaves 
that oozed from the marshy shores, crept in shadow 
through depths of foliage, with only a belt of illu- 
mined sky gleaming between the jagged tree-tops. 
Tall and lean with straining towards the light, their 
rough, gaunt stems trickling with perpetual damps, 
stood on either hand the silent hosts of the forest. 
The skeletons of their dead, barkless, blanched, and 
shattered, strewed the mudbanks and shallows; 
others lay submerged, like bones of drowned mam- 
moths, thrusting lank, white limbs above the sullen 
water; and great trees, entire as yet, were flung by 
age or storms athwart the current, — a bristling bar- 
ricade of matted boughs. There was work for the 
axe as well as for the oar; till at length Lake Oneida 
opened before them, and they rowed all day over its 
sunny breast, reached the outlet, and drifted down 
the shallow eddies of the Onondaga, between walls 
of verdure, silent as death, yet haunted everywhere 
with ambushed danger. It was twenty days after 
leaving Schenectady when they neared the mouth of 
the river; and Lake Ontario greeted them, stretched 
like a sea to the pale brink of the northern sky, 
while on the bare hill at their left stood the miserable 
little fort of Oswego. 

Shirley's whole force soon arrived; but not the 
needful provisions and stores. The machinery of 
transportation and the commissariat was in the be- 
wildered state inevitable among a peaceful people at 
the beginning of a war; while the news of Braddock's 


defeat produced such an effect on the boatmen and 
the draymen at the canying-places that the greater 
part deserted. Along with these disheartening tid- 
ings, Shirley learned the death of his eldest son, 
killed at the side of Braddock. He had with him a 
second son, Captain John Shirley, a vivacious young 
man, whom his father and his father's friends in 
their familiar correspondence always called ^^Jaok.'' 
John Shirley's letters give a lively view of the 

"I have sat down to write to you," — thus he 
addresses Governor Morris, of Pennsylvania, who 
seems to have had a great liking for him, — ^^ because 
there is an opportunity of sending you a few lines; 
and if you will promise to excuse blots, interlinea- 
tions, and grease (for this is written in the open air, 
upon the head of a pork-barrel, and twenty people 
about me), I will begin another half-sheet. We are 
not more than about fifteen hundred men fit for 
duty; but that, I am pretty sure, if we can go in 
time in our sloop, schooner, row-galleys, and whale- 
boats, will be sufficient to take Frontenac; after 
which we may venture to go upon the attack of 
Niagara, but not before. I have not the least doubt 
with myself of knocking down both these places yet 
this fall, if we can get away in a week. If we take 
or destroy their two vessels at Frontenac, and ruin 
their harbor there, and destroy the two forts of that 
and Niagara, I shall think we have done great things. 
Nobody holds it out better than my father and 

886 SHIRLEY.— BORDER WAR. [1755. 

myself. We shall all of us relish a good house over 
our heads, being all encamped, except the General 
and some few field-officers, who have what are called 
at Oswego houses; but they would in other countries 
be called only sheds, except the fort, where my 
father is. Adieu, dear sir; I hope my next will be 
directed from Frontenac. Yours most affectionately, 
John Shirley." 1 

Fort Frontenac lay to the northward, fifty miles or 
more across the lake. Niagara lay to the westward, 
at the distance of four or five days by boat or canoe 
along the south shore. At Frontenac there was a 
French force of fourteen hundred regulars and 
Canadians.^ They had vessels and canoes to cross 
the lake and fall upon Oswego as soon as Shirley 
should leave it to attack Niagara; for Braddock's 
captured papers had revealed to them the English 
plan. If they should take it, Shirley would be cut 

1 The young anthor of this letter was, Uke his brother, a yictim 
of the war. 

** Permit me, good sir, to offer jon my hearty condolence upon 
the death of my friend Jack, whose worth I admired, and feel for 
him more than I can express. . . . Few men of his age had so many 
friends." — Governor Morris to Shirley, 27 November, 1766. 

" My heart bleeds for Mr. Shirley. He must be oyerwhelmed 
with Orief when he hears of Capt. John Shirley's Death, of which 
I have an Account by the last Post from New York, where he died 
of a Flux and Ferer that he had contracted at Oswego. The lost 
of Two Sons in one Campaign scarcely admits of Consolation. I 
feel the Anguish of the unhappy Father, and mix my Tears rery 
heartily with his. I have had an intimate Acquaintance with Both 
of Them for many Years, and know well their inestimable Value " 
•» Morris to Dinwiddie, 29 November, 1766. 

i Bigoi cm Minutre, 27 Ao(U, 1766. 

1765.] DIFFICULTIEa 887 

off from his supplies and placed iu desperate jeopardy, 
with the enemy in his rear. Hence it is that John 
Shirley insists on taking Frontenac before attempting 
Niagara. But the task was not easy; for the French 
force at the former place was about equal in effective 
strength to that of the English at Oswego. At 
Niagara, too, the French had, at the end of August, 
nearly twelve hundred Canadians and Indians from 
Fort Duquesne and the upper lakes. ^ Shirley was 
but imperfectly informed by his scouts of the unex- 
pected strength of the opposition that awaited him; 
but he knew enough to see that his position was a 
difficult one. His movement on Niagara was stopped, 
first by want of provisions, and secondly because he 
was checkmated by the troops at Frontenac. He did 
not despair. Want of courage was not among his 
failings, and he was but too ready to take risks. He 
called a council of officers, told them that the total 
number of men fit for duly was thirteen hundred and 
seventy-six, and that as soon as provisions enough 
should arrive he would embark for Niagara with six 
hundred soldiers and as many Indians as possible, 
leaving the rest to defend Oswego against the 
expected attack from Fort Frontenac.^ 

^^ All I am uneasy about is our provisions,'' writes 
John Shirley to his friend Morris; ^^our men have 
been upon half allowance of bread these three weeks 
past, and no rum given to 'em. My father yesterday 

^ Btgot au Ministre, 5 Septemhre, 1766. 

• Minute* of a Council of War at Oswego, 18 September, 1766i 

VOL. I. — 22 

888 SHIRLET.— BORDER WAR. [175& 

called all the Indians together and made 'em a speech 
on the subject of General Johnson's engagement, 
which he calculated to inspire them with a spirit of 
revenge." After the speech he gave them a bullock 
for a feast, which they roasted and ate, pretending 
that they were eating the governor of Canada I Some 
provisions arriving, orders were given to embark on 
the next day; but the officers murmured their dis- 
sent. The weather was persistently bad, their vessels 
would not hold half the party, and the bateaux, 
made only for river navigation, would infallibly 
founder on the treacherous and stormy lake. ^^ All 
the field-officers," sajrs John Shirley, ^Hhink it too 
rash an attempt; and I have heard so much of it that 
I think it my duty to let my father know what I 
hear." Another council was called; and the general, 
reluctantly convinced of the danger, put the question 
whether to go or not. The situation admitted but 
one reply. The council was of opinion that for 
the present the enterprise was impracticable; that 
Oswego should be strengthened, more vessels built, 
and preparation made to renew the attempt as soon 
as spring opened.^ All thoughts of active opera- 
tions were now suspended, and during what was 
left of the season the troops exchanged the musket 
for the spade, saw, and axe. At the end of Octo- 
ber, leaving seven hundred men at Oswego, Shirley 
returned to Albany, and narrowly escaped drowning 
on the way, while passing a rapid in a whale-boat, 

^ yfinutes of a Council of War at Oswego, 27 September, 1765. 


to try the fitness of that species of craft for river 

Unfortunately for him, he had fallen out with 
Johnson, whom he had made what he was, but who 
now turned against him, — a seeming ingratitude not 
wholly unprovoked. Shirley had diverted the New 
Jersey regiment, destined originally for Crown Point, 
to his own expedition against Niagara. Naturally 
inclined to keep all the reins in his own hands, he 
had encroached on Johnson's new office of Indian 
superintendent, held conferences with the Five 
Nations, and employed agents of his own to deal 
with them. These agents were persons obnoxious to 
Johnson, being allied with the clique of Dutch 
traders at Albany, who hated him because he had 
supplanted them in the direction of Indian affairs; 
and in a violent letter to the Lords of Trade, he 
inveighs against their ^4icentious and abandoned 
proceedings," "villanous conduct," "scurrilous false- 
hoods," and "base and insolent behavior."* "I am 
considerable enough," he says, "to have enemies and 
to be envied;"' and he declares he has proof that 
Shirley told the Mohawks that he, Johnson, was ai 

^ On the Niagara exi>edition, Braddock's Inttrudions to Major* 
General Shirley, Correspondence of Shirley, 1766. Conduct of Major- 
General Shirley (London, 1768). Letters of John Shirlej in Penn- 
sylvania Archives, ii. Bradstreet to Shirley, 17 August, 1766. MSS. 
in MassachoBetts Archiyes. Review of Military Operations in North 
America, Gentleman's Magazine, \lbl, p. 73. London Magaxin^ 
1769, p. 694. TrumbuU, Hist. Connecticut, ii. 870. 

' Johnson to the Lords of Trade, 3 September, 1766. 

• Ihid., 17 January, 1766. 

840 SHIRLEY. — BORDER WAR. [1765. 

upstart of his creating, whom he had Bet up and 
could pull down. Again, he charges Shirley's agents 
with trying to "debauch the Indians from joining 
him;" while Shirley, on his side, retorts the same 
complaint against his accuser.^ When, by the death 
of Braddock, Shirley became commander-in-chief, 
Johnson grew so restive at being subject to his 
instructions that he declined to hold the management 
of Indian affairs unless it was made independent of 
his rival. The dispute became mingled with the 
teapot-tempest of New York provincial politics. 
The lieutenant-governor, Delancey, a politician of 
restless ambition and consummate dexterity, had 
taken umbrage at Shirley, of whose rising honors, 
not borne with remarkable humiUty, he appears to 
have been jealous. Delancey had hitherto favored 
the Dutch faction in the Assembly, hostile to John- 
son ; but he now changed attitude, and joined hands 
with him against the object of their common dislike. 
The one was strong in the prestige of a loudly 
trumpeted victory, and the other had means of influ- 
ence over the ministry. Their coalition boded ill to 
Shirley, and he soon felt its effects.* 

The campaign was now closed, — a sufficiently 
active one, seeing that the two nations were nomi- 

* John Shirley to Governor Morris^ 12 August^ 1756. 

• On this a£fair, see various papers in N, Y, Col. Docs., yi., rii. 
Smith, Hift. New York, Part II., Chaps. IV. V. Review of Military 
Operations in North America. Both Smith and Livingston, tho 
author of the Review, were personally cognizant of the course oi 
the dispute. 


nally at peace. A disastrous rout on the Mononga* 
hela, failure at Niagara, a barren victory at Lake 
George, and three forts captured in Acadia, were 
the disappointing results on the part of England. 
Nor had her enemies cause to boast. The Indians, 
it is true, had won a battle for them: but they had 
suffered mortifjdng defeat from a raw militia; their 
general was a prisoner; and they had lost Acadia 
past hope. 

The campaign was over; but not its effects. It 
remains to see what befell from the rout of Braddock 
and the unpardonable retreat of Dunbar from the 
frontier which it was his duty to defend. Dumas 
had replaced Contrecoeur in the command of Fort 
Duquesne; and his first care was to set on the 
western tribes to attack the border settlements. His 
success was triumphant. The Delawares and Shawa- 
noes, old friends of the English, but for years past 
tending to alienation through neglect and ill-usage, 
now took the lead against them. Many of the 
Mingoes, or Five Nation Indians on the Ohio, also 
took up the hatchet, as did various remoter tribes. 
The West rose like a nest of hornets, and swarmed 
in fury against the English frontier. Such was the 
consequence of the defeat of Braddock aided by the 
skilful devices of the French commander. **It is by 
means such as I have mentioned," says Dumas, ^^ varied 
in every form to suit the occasion, that I have suc- 
ceeded in ruining the three adjacent provinces, Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, driving off the 

342 8HIRLET. — BORDER WAR. [17{^. 

inhabitants, and totally de8t3X)ying the settlements 
over a tract of ooontiy thirty leagues wide, reckoning 
from the line of Fort Cumberland. M. de Contrecceur 
had not been gone a week before I had six or seven 
different war-parties in the field at once, bXwsljs 
accompanied by Frenchmen. Thus far, we have 
lost only two officers and a few soldiers; but the 
Indian villages are full of prisoners of every age and 
sex. The enemy has lost far more since the battle 
than on the day of his defeat."^ 

Dumas, required by the orders of his superiors to 
wage a detestable warfare against helpless settlers 
and their families, did what he could to temper its 
horrors, and enjoined the officers who went with the 
Indians to spare na effort to prevent them from tor- 
turing prisoners.^ The attempt should be set down 
to his honor; but it did not avail much. In the 
record of cruelties committed this year on the 
borders, we find repeated instances of chUdren scalped 
alive. "They kill all they meet," writes a French 
priest; "and after having abused the women and 
maidens, they slaughter or bum them."^ 

Washing^n was now in command of the Virginia 

1 Dunuu au Ministre, 24 Juillet, 1766. 

* M€moire9 de Famille de CAhb€ Catgrain, cited in Le Foyer Can* 
adien, iii. 26, where an extract ii given from an order of Dnmas to 
Baby, a Canadian officer. Orders of Contrecceur and Ligneris to 
the same effect are also given. A similar order, signed by Dumas, 
was found in the pocket of DouviUe, an officer kiUed by the Eng- 
lish on the frontier. Writings of Washington, ii. 137, note. 

' Bev, Claude Godejroif Cocquard, S,J,,hson Frere, Mars (?), 


regiment, consisting of a thousand men, raised after* 
wards to fifteen hundred. With these he was to pro- 
tect a frontier of three hundred and fifty miles 
against more numerous enemies, who could choose 
their time and place of attack. His headquarters 
were at Winchester. His men were an ungovernable 
crew, enlisted chiefly on the turbulent border, and 
resenting every kind of discipline as levelling them 
with negroes; while the sympathizing House of 
Burgesses hesitated for months to pass any law for 
enforcing obedience, lest it should trench on the 
liberties of free white men. The service was to the 
last degree unpopular. ^ If we talk of obliging men 
to serve their country," wrote Landon Carter, "we 
are sure to hear a fellow mumble over the words 
* liberty * and ' property ' a thousand times." ^ The 
people, too, were in mortal fear of a slave insur- 
rection, and therefore dared not go far from home.' 
Meanwhile a panic reigned along the border. Cap- 
tain Waggoner, passing a gap in the Blue Ridge, 
could hardly make his way for the crowd of fugitives. 
"Every day," writes Washington, "we have accounts 
of such cruelties and barbarities as are shocking to 
human nature. It is not possible to conceive the 
situation and danger of this miserable country. Such 
numbers of French and Indians are all around that 
no road is safe." 

These frontiers had always been at peace. No 

1 Extract in Writingt of Washington, il. 145, note, 
3 Letteri qf Dinwiddie, 1765. 

344 SHIRLEY. — BORDER WAR. [1765. 

forts of refuge had thus far been built, and the 
scattered settlers had no choice but flight. Their first 
impulse was to put wife and children beyond reach 
of the tomahawk. As autumn advanced, the invad- 
ing bands grew more and more audacious. Braddock 
had opened a road for them by which they could 
cross the mountains at their ease; and scouts from 
Fort Cumberland reported that this road was beaten 
by as many feet as when the English army passed 
last summer. Washington was beset with difficulties. 
Men and officers alike were iinruly and mutinous. 
He was at once blamed for their disorders and refused 
the means of repressing them. Envious detractors 
published slanders against him. A petty Maryland 
captain, who had once had a commission from the 
King, refused to obey his orders, and stirred up 
factions among his officers. Dinwiddle gave him 
cold support. The temper of the old Scotchman, 
crabbed at the best, had been soured by disappoint- 
ment, vexation, weariness, and ill-health. He had, 
besides, a friend and countryman. Colonel Innes, 
whom, had he dared, he would gladly have put in 
Washington's place. He was full of zeal in the 
common cause, and wanted to direct the defence of 
the borders from his house at Williamsburg, two 
hundred miles distant. Washington never hesitated 
to obey; but he accompanied his obedience by a 
statement of his own convictions and his reasons for 
them, which, though couched in terms the most 
respectful, galled his irascible chief. The governor 

1756, 1756.] WASHINGTON. 845 

acknowledged his merit, but bore him no love, and 
sometimes wrote to him in terms which must have 
tried his high temper to the utmost. Sometimes, 
though rarely, he gave words to his emotion. 

"Your Honor," he ^vrote in April, "may see to 
what unhappy straits the distressed inhabitants and 
myself are reduced. I see inevitable destruction in 
so clear a light that unless vigorous measures are 
taken by the Assembly, and speedy assistance sent 
from below, the poor inhabitants that are now in 
forts must unavoidably fall, while the remainder are 
flying before the barbarous foe. In fine, the melan- 
choly situation of the people; the little prospect of 
assistance ; the gross and scandalous abuse cast upon 
the officers in general, which is reflecting upon me in 
particular for suffering misconduct of such extraor- 
dinary kinds; and the distant prospect, if any, of 
gaining honor and reputation in the service, — cause 
me to lament the hour that gave me a conmiission, 
and would induce me at any other time than this of 
imminent danger to resign, without one hesitating 
moment, a command from which I never expect to 
reap either honor or benefit, but, on the contrary, 
have almost an absolute certainty of incurring dis- 
pleasure below, while the murder of helpless families 
may be laid to my account here. 

" The supplicating tears of the women and moving 
petitions of the men melt me into such deadly sor« 
row that I solemnly declare, if I know my own 
mind, I could offer myself a willing sacrifice to the 

846 SHIRLEY. - BORDER WAR. [1755,1756. 

butx^hering enemy, provided that would contribute 
to the people's ease."^ 

In the turmoil around him, patriotism and public 
duty seemed all to be centred in the breast of one 
heroic youth. He was respected and generally 
beloved, but he did not kindle enthusiasm. His 
were the qualities of an unflagging courage, an all- 
enduring fortitude, and a deep trust. He showed an 
astonishing maturity of character, and the kind of 
mastery over others which begins with mastery over 
self. At twenty-four he was the foremost man, and 
acknowledged as such, along the whole long line of 
the western border. 

To feel the situation, the nature of these frontiers 
must be kept in mind. Along the skirts of the 
southern and middle colonies ran for six or seven 
hundred miles a loose, thin, dishevelled fringe of 
population, the half -barbarous pioneers of advancing 
civilization. Their rude dwellings were often miles 
apart. Buried in woods, the settler lived in an 
appalling loneliness. A low-browed cabin of logs, 
with moss stuflPed in the chinks to keep out the wind, 
roof covered with sheets of bark, chimney of sticks 
and clay, and square holes closed by a shutter in place 
of windows; an unkempt matron, lean with hard 
work, and a brood of children with bare heads and 
tattered garments eked out by deerskin, — such was 
the home of the pioneer in the remoter and wilder 
districts. The scene around bore witness to his 

1 Writingi of Washingiton, ii. 143. 

1755, 1756.] SAVAGE RAIDS. 847 

labors. It was the repulsive transition from savagery 
to civilization, from the forest to the farm. The 
victims of his axe lay strewn about the dismal '^ clear- 
ing "' in a chaos of prostrate trunks, tangled boughs, 
and withered leaves, waiting for the fire that was to 
be the next agent in the process of improvement; 
while around, voiceless and grim, stood the living 
forest, gazing on the desolation, and biding its own 
day of doom. The owner of the cabin was miles 
a^vay, hunting in the woods for the wild turkey and 
venison which were the chief food of himself and his 
family till the soil could be tamed into the bearing 
of crops. 

Towards night he returned; and as he issued from 
the forest shadows he saw a column of blue smoke 
rising quietly in the still evening air. He ran to the 
spot; and there, among the smouldering logs of his 
dwelling, lay, scalped and mangled, the dead bodies 
of wife and children. A war-party had passed that 
way. Breathless, palpitating, his brain on fire, he 
rushed through the thickening night to carry the 
alarm to his nearest neighbor, three miles distant 

Such was the character and the fate of many incipi- 
ent settlements of the utmost border. Farther east, 
they had a difPerent aspect. Here, small farms with 
well-built log-houses, cattle, crops of wheat, and 
Indian com, were strung at intervals along some 
woody valley of the lower Alleghanies : yesterday a 
scene of hardy toil; to-day swept with destruction 
from end to end. There was no warning; no time 

848 SraRLEY — BORDER WAR. [1756, 175e. 

for concert, perhaps none for flight. Sadden as the 
leaping panther, a pack of human wolves burst out 
of the forest, did their work, and vanished. 

If the country had been an open one, like the 
plains beyond the Mississippi, the situation would 
have been less frightful; but the forest was every- 
where, rolled over hill and valley in billows of in- 
terminable green, — a leafy maze, a mystery of shade, 
a universal hiding-place, where murder might lurk 
unseen at its victim's side, and Nature seemed formed 
to nurse the mind with wild and dark imaginings. 
The detail of blood is set down in the untutored 
words of those who saw and felt it. But there was a 
suffering that had no record, — the mortal fear of 
women and children in the solitude of their wilder- 
ness homes, haunted, waking and sleeping, with 
nightmares of horror that were but the forecast of an 
imminent reality. The country had in past years 
been so peaceful, and the Indians so friendly, that 
many of the settlers, especially on the Pennsylvanian 
border, had no arms, and were doubly in need of help 
from the government. In Virginia they had it, such 
as it was. In Pennsylvania they had for months 
none whatever; and the Assembly turned a deaf ear 
to their cries. 

Far to the east, sheltered from danger, lay staid 
and prosperous Philadelphia, the home of order and 
thrift. It took its stamp from the Quakers, its 
original and dominant population, set apart from the 
other colonists not only in character and creed, but 


in the outward symbols of a peculiar dress and a daily 
sacrifice of grammar on the altar of religion. The 
even tenor of their lives counteracted the effects of 
climate, and they are said to have been perceptibly 
more rotund in feature and person than their neigh- 
bors. Yet, broad and humanizing as was their faith, 
they were capable of extreme bitterness towards oppo- 
nents, clung tenaciously to power, and were jealous 
for the ascendency of their sect, which had begun to 
show signs of wavering. On other sects they looked 
askance, and regarded the Presbyterians in particular 
with a dislike which in moments of crisis rose to 
detestation.^ They held it sin to fight, and above all 
to fight against Indians. 

Here was one cause of military paralysis. It was 
reinforced by another. The old standing quarrel 
between governor and assembly had grown more 
violent than ever ; and this as a direct consequence 
of the public distress, which above all things de- 
manded harmony. The dispute turned this time on 
a single issue, — that of the taxation of the pro- 
prietary estates. The estates in question consisted 
of vast tracts of wild land, yielding no income, and 
at present to a great extent worthless, being overrun 
by the enemy. ^ The Quaker Assembly had refused 
to protect them ; and on one occasion had rejected an 

1 See a crowd of party pamphlets, Quaker against Presbjterian, 
which appeared at Philadelphia in 1764, abusirelj acrimonious on 
both sides. 

*' The productive estates of the proprietaries were taxed through 
the tenants. 

850 SHIRLEY. —BORDER WAR. [1755, 175a 

offer of the proprietaries to join them in paying the 
coBt of their defence.^ But though they would not 
defend the land, they insisted on taxing it; and 
farther insisted that the taxes upon it should be laid 
by the provincial assessors. By a law of the province, 
these assessors were chosen by popular vote ; and in 
consenting to this law, the proprietaries had expressly 
provided that their estates should be exempted from 
all taxes to be laid by officials in whose appointment 
they had no voice.' Thomas and Richard Penn, the 
present proprietaries, had debarred their deputy, the 
governor, both by the terms of his commission and 
by special instruction, from consenting to such taxa- 
tion, and had laid him under heavy bonds to secure 
his obedience. Thus there was another side to the 
question than that of the Assembly; though our 
American writers have been slow to acknowledge it. 

Benjamin Franklin was leader in the Assembly 
and shared its views. The feudal proprietorship of 
the Penn family was odious to his democratic nature. 
It was, in truth, a pestilent anomaly, repugnant to 
the genius of the people ; and the disposition and 
character of the present proprietaries did not tend to 
render it less vexatious. Yet there were considera- 

^ The proprietaries offered to contribute to the cost of building 
and maintaining a fort on the spot where the French soon after 
built Fort Duquesne. This plan, vigorously executed, would have 
saved the province from a deluge of miseries. One of the reasons 
assigned by the Assembly for rejecting it was that it would irritate 
the enemy. See supra, 64. 

* A Brief Vteiv of the Conduct of Pennsylvania for the year 1756. 


tions which might have tempered the impatient hatred 
with which the colonists regarded it. The first 
proprietary, William Penn, had used his feudal rights 
in the interest of a broad liberalism; and through 
them had established the popular institutions and 
universal tolerance which made Pennsylvania the 
most democratic province in America, and nursed the 
spirit of liberty which now revolted against his heirs. 
The one absorbing passion of Pennsylvania was 
resistance to theii* deputy, the governor. The badge 
of feudalism, though light, was insufferably irritat- 
ing; and the sons of William Penn were moreover 
detested by the Quakers as renegades from the faith 
of their father. Thus the immediate political con- 
flict engrossed mind and heart; and in the rancor of 
their quarrel with the proprietaries, the Assembly 
forgot the French and Indians. 

In Philadelphia and the eastern districts the 
Quakers could ply their trades, tend their shops, till 
their farms, and discourse at their ease on the wicked- 
ness of war. The midland counties, too, were for 
the most part tolerably safe. They were occupied 
mainly by crude Grerman peasants, who nearly 
equalled in number all the rest of the population, 
and who, gathered at the centre of the province, 
formed a mass politically indigestible. Translated 
from servitude to the most ample liberty, they hated 
the thought of miUtaiy service, which reminded them 
of former oppression, cared little whether they lived 
under France or England, and, thinking themselves 

862 SHIRLEY. — BORDER WAR. [1755. 

out of danger, had no mind to be taxed for the 
defence of others. But while the great body of the 
Germans were sheltered from harm, those of them 
who lived farther westward were not so fortunate. 
Here, mixed with Scotch Irish Presbyterians and 
Celtic Irish Catholics, they formed a rough border 
population, the discordant elements of which could 
rarely unite for common action ; yet, though confused 
and disjointed, they were a living rampart to the rest 
of the colony. Against them raged the furies of 
Indian war; and, maddened with distress and terror, 
they cried aloud for help. 

Petition after petition came from the borders for 
arms and ammunition, and for a militia law to enable 
the people to organize and defend themselves. The 
Quakers resisted. ^^They have taken uncommon 
pains," writes Governor Morris to Shirley, "to pre- 
vent the people from taking up arms." ^ Braddock's 
defeat, they declared, was a just judgment on him 
and his soldiers for molesting the French in their 
settlements on the Ohio.' A bill was passed by the 
Assembly for raising fifty thousand pounds for the 
King's use by a tax which included the proprietary 
lands. The governor, constrained by his instructions 
and his bonds, rejected it. "I can only say," he told 
them, "that I will readily pass a bill for striking 
any sum in paper money the present exigency may 
loquire, provided funds are established for sinking 

1 Morrii to Shirley, 16 August, 1765. 

' Morris to Sir Thoma$ Robinson, 28 August, 1755. 


the same in five years." Messages long and acri"> 
monious were exchanged between the parties. The 
Assembly, had they chosen, could easily have raised 
money enough by methods not involving the point in 
dispute; but they thought they saw in the crisis a 
means of forcing the governor to yield. The Quakers 
had an alternative motive : if the governor gave way, 
it was a political victory ; if he stood fast, their non- 
resistance principles would triumph, and in this 
triumph their ascendency as a sect would be con- 
firmed. The debate grew every day more bitter and 
unmannerly. The governor could not yield; the 
Assembly would not. There was a complete dead- 
lock. The Assembly requested the governor " not to 
make himself the hateful instrument of reducing a 
free people to the abject state of vassalage." ^ As 
the raising of money and the control of its expendi- 
ture was in their hands ; as he could not prorogue or 
dissolve them, and as they could adjourn on their 
own motion to such time as pleased them; as they 
paid his support, and could withhold it if he offended 
them, — which they did in the present case, — it 
seemed no easy task for him to reduce them to vas- 
salage. " What must we do, " pursued the Assembly, 
^^to please this kind governor, who takes so much 
pains to render us obnoxious to our sovereign and 
odious to our fellow-subjects? If we only tell him 
that the difficulties he meets with are not owing to 
the causes he names, — which indeed have no exist- 

^ Colonial Records of Pa,, li, 684. 
VOL.1. — 23 

854 SHIRLEY. ^ BORDER WAR. [175& 

ence, — but to his own want of skill and abilities for 
his station, he takes it extremely amiss, and sajns 
* we forget all decency to those in authority. ' We 
are apt to think there is likewise some decency due 
to the Assembly as a part of the government; and 
though we have not, like the governor, had a courtly 
education, but are plain men, and must be very 
imperfect in our politeness, yet we think we have no 
chance of improving by his example."^ Again, in 
another Message, the Assembly, with a thrust at 
Morris himself, tell him that colonial governors have 
often been ^^ transient persons, of broken fortunes, 
greedy of money, destitute of all concern for those 
they govern, often their enemies, and endeavoring 
not only to oppress, but to defame them.'*' In 
such unseemly fashion was the battle waged. Morris, 
who was hhnself a provincial, showed more temper 
and dignity; though there was not too much on 
either side. ** The Assembly, " he wrote to Shirley, 
^seem determined to take advantage of the country's 
distress to get the whole power of government into 
their own hands." And the Assembly proclaimed 
on their part that the governor was taking advantage 
of the country's distress to reduce the province to 
** Egyptian bondage." 

Petitions poured in from the miserable frontiers- 
men. "How long will those in power, by their 

1 Message of the AuemUy to the Govenwr, 29 September, 1756 
(written by Franklin), in Colonial Recorde of Pa., vi. 031, 632. 

* Writings of Franklin, iii. 447. The Assembly at first tup 
pressed this paper, but afterwards printed it. 


quarrels, suffer us to be massacred?"' demanded 
William Trent, the Indian trader. " Two and forty 
bodies have been buried on Patterson's Creek; and 
since they have killed more, and keep on killing."^ 
Early in October news came that a hundred persons 
had been murdered near Fort Cumberland. Repeated 
tidings followed of murders on the Susquehanna; 
then it was announced that the war-parties had 
crossed that stream, and were at their work on the 
eastern side. Letter after letter came from the 
sufferers, bringing such complaints as this: ^^ We are 
in as bad circumstances as ever any poor Christians 
were ever in; for the cries of widowers, widows, 
fatherless and motherless childen, are enough to pierce 
the most hardest of hearts. Likewise it's a very 
sorrowful spectacle to see those that escaped with 
their lives with not a mouthful to eat, or bed to lie 
on, or clothes to cover their nakedness, or keep them 
warm, but all they had consumed into ashes. These 
deplorable circumstances cry aloud for your Honor's 
most wise consideration ; for it is really very shock- 
ing for the husband to see the wife of his bosom her 
head cut off, and the children's blood drunk like 
water, by these bloody and cruel savages."' 

Morris was greatly troubled. ^^ The conduct of the 
Assembly," he wrote to Shirley, ^ is to me shocking 
bey ond parallel. " ^^The inhabitants are abandoning 
their plantations, and we are in a dreadful situation," 

1 Trent to JameM Burd, 4 October, 1755. 

* Adam Hoop$ to Governor McrrU, 8 November^ 1756. 

856 SHIRLEY. —BORDER WAR. [1755 

wrote John Harris from the east bank of the Susque- 
hanna. On the next day he wrote again: "The 
Indians are cutting us off every day, and I had a 
certain account of about fifteen hundred Indians, 
besides French, being on their march against us and 
Virginia, and now close on our borders, their scouts 
scalping our families on our frontiers daily." The 
report was soon confirmed; and accounts came that 
the settlements in the valley called the Great Cove 
had been completely destroyed. All this was laid 
before the Assembly. They declared the accounts 
exaggerated, but confessed that outrages had been 
committed ; hinted that the fault was with the pro- 
prietaries; and asked the governor to explain why 
the Delawares and Shawanoes had become unfriendly. 
"If they have suffered wrongs," said the Quakers, 
" we are resolved to do all in our power to redress 
them, rather than entail upon ourselves and our 
posterity the calamities of a cruel Indian war." The 
Indian records were searched, and several days spent 
in unsuccessful efforts to prove fraud in a late land- 

Post after post still brought news of slaughter. 
The upper part of Cumberland County was laid 
waste. Edward Biddle wrote from Reading: "The 
drum is beating and bells ringing, and all the people 
under arms. This night we expect an attack. The 
people exclaim against the Quakers." "We seem to 
be given up into the hands of a merciless enemy," 
wrote John Elder from Paxton. And he declares 


iihat more than forty persons have been killed in that 
neighborhood, besides numbers carried off. Mean- 
while the governor and Assembly went on fencing 
with words and exchanging legal subtleties; while, 
with every cry of distress that rose from the west, 
each hoped that the other would yield. 

On the eighth of November the Assembly laid 
before Morris for his concurrence a bill for remitting 
bills of credit to the amount of sixty thousand 
pounds, to be sunk in four years by a tax including 
the proprietary estates.^ *^I shall not,'* he replied, 
^' enter into a dispute whether the proprietaries ought 
to be taxed or not. It is sufficient for me that they 
have given me no power in that case; and I cannot 
think it consistent either with my duty or safety to 
exceed the powers of my commission, much less to 
do what that commission expressly prohibits."' He 
stretched his authority, however, so far as to propose 
a sort of compromise by which the question should 
be referred to the King ; but they refused it ; and the 
quarrel and the murders went on as before. ^We 
have taken," said the Assembly, "every step in our 
power, consistent with the just rights of the freemen 
of Pennsylvania, for the relief of the poor distressed 
inhabitants ; and we have reason to believe that they 
themselves would not wish us to go farther. Those 
who would give up essential liberty to purchase a 

1 Colonial lUcords of Pa., vi. 682. 

* Message of the Governor to the Assembljf, 8 November, 1756, ifl 
Colonial Records of Pa,, vi. 684. 

868 SHIBLEY. — BORDER WAR. [1765. 

little temporary safety deserve neither liberty noi 
safety.'*^ Then the borderers deserved neither; for, 
rather than be butchered, they would have let the 
proprietary lands lie untaxed for another year. 
"You have in all," said the governor, "proposed to 
me five money bills, three of them rejected because 
contrary to royal instructions; the other two on 
account of the unjust method proposed for taxing the 
proprietary estate. If you are disposed to relieve 
your country, you have many other ways of granting 
money to which I shall have no objection. I shall 
put one proof more both of your sincerity and mine 
in our professions of regard for the public, by offer- 
ing to agree to any bill in the present exigency which 
it is consistent with my duty to pass; lest, before our 
present disputes can be brought to an issue, we 
should neither have a privilege to dispute about, nor 
a country to dispute in."^ They stood fast; and 
with an obstinacy for which the Quakers were chiefly 
answerable, insisted that they would give nothing, 
except by a bill taxing real estate, and including that 
of the proprietaries. 

But now the Assembly began to feel the ground 
shaking under their feet. A paper, called a " Repre- 
sentation," signed by some of the chief citizens, 
was sent to the House, calling for measures of 
defence. "You will forgive us, gentlemen," such 

^ Mesmge of the Ataembly to the Governor, 11 November, 1766, ia 
Colonial Records of Pa., vi. 602. The words are Franklin's. 

s Meuage of ike Governor to the Aseembly, 22 November, 1766, Ibid^ 

J755.] A RISING STORM. 859 

was its language, ^ if we assume characters somewhat 
higher than that of humble suitors praying for the 
defence of our lives and properties as a matter of 
grace or favor on your side. You will permit us to 
make a positive and immediate demand of it.'' ^ This 
drove the Quakers mad. Preachers, male and female, 
harangued in the streets, denouncing the iniquity of 
war. Three of the sect from England, two women 
and a man, invited their brethren of the Assembly to 
a private house, and fervently exhorted them to stand 
firm. Some of the principal Quakers joined in an 
address to the House, in which they declared that 
any action on its part ^inconsistent with the peace* 
able testimony we profess and have borne to the 
world appears to us in its consequences to be destruc- 
tive of our religious liberties."' And they protested 
that they would rather ^^ suffer" than pay taxes for 
such ends. Consistency, even in folly, has in it 
something respectable; but the Quakers were not 
consistent. A few years after, when heated with 
party passion and excited by reports of an irruption 
of incensed Presbyterian borderers, some of the 
pacific sectaries armed for battle ; and the streets of 
Philadelphia beheld the curious conjunction of 
musket and broad-brimmed hat.^ 

The mayor, aldermen, and common council next 
addressed the Assembly, adjuring them, ^^in the 
most solemn manner, before God and in the name of 

1 Pennsylvania Archivei, ii. 486. * Ibid., it 487. 

* See " Conspiracj of Fontiac/' chap. zxv. 

860 SHIRLEY. — BORDER WAR. [1755 

all our fellow-citizens/' to provide for defemllng the 
lives and property of the people.^ A deputation from 
a band of Indians on the Susquehanna, still friendly 
to the province, came to ask whether the English 
meant to fight or not; for, said their speaker, ^4f 
they will not stand by us, we will join the French." 
News came that the settlement of Tulpehocken, only 
sixty miles distant, had been destroyed; and then 
that the Moravian settlement of Gnadenhiitten was 
burned, and nearly all its inmates massacred. Colonel 
William Moore wrote to the governor that two 
thousand men were coming from Chester County 
to compel him and the Assembly to defend the 
province ; and Conrad Weiser wrote that more were 
coming from Berks on the same errand. Old friends 
of the Assembly began to cry out against them. 
Even the Grermans, hitherto their fast allies, were 
roused from their attitude of passivity, and four hun- 
dred of them came in procession to demand measures 
of war. A band of frontiersmen presently arrived, 
bringing in a wagon the bodies of friends and relatives 
lately murdered, displaying them at the doors of the 
Assembly, cursing the Quakers, and threatening 

Finding some concession necessary, the House at 
length passed a militia law, — probably the most 
futile ever enacted. It specially exempted the 
Quakers, and constrained nobody; but declared it 

1 A Remonstrance, etc., in Colonial Records of Pa., vi. 784. 
s Mante, 47 ; Entick, i. 877. 

1755.] A MOCK MILITIA LAW. 861 

lawful, for such as chose, to form themselves into 
companies and elect officers by ballot. The company 
officers thus elected might, if they saw fit, elect, also 
by ballot, colonels, lieutenant-colonels, and majors. 
These last might then, in conjunction with the gov- 
ernor, frame articles of war; to which, however, no 
officer or man was to be subjected unless, after three' 
days' consideration, he subscribed them in presence 
of a justice of the peace, and declared his willingness 
to be bound by them. ^ 

This mockery could not appease the people; the 
Assembly must raise money for men, arms, forts, and 
all the detested appliances of war. Defeat absolute 
and ignominious seemed hanging over the House, 
when an incident occurred which gave them a decent 
pretext for retreat. The governor informed them 
that he had just received a letter from the proprie- 
taries, giving to the province five thousand pounds 
sterling to aid in its defence, on condition that the 
money should be accepted as a free gift, and not as 
their proportion of any tax that was or might be laid 
by the Assembly. They had not learned the deplo- 
rable state of the country, and had sent the money in 
view of the defeat of Braddock and its probable 
consequences. The Assembly hereupon yielded, 
struck out from the bill before them the clause tax- 

1 This remarkable bill, drawn bj Franklin, was meant for 
political rather than military effect. It was thought that Morris 
wonld refuse to pass it, and could therefore be accused of prevent* 
Ing the province from defending itself ; but he avoided the snare 
by signing it. 

862 SHIRLEY. -. BORDER WAR. [1756. 

ing the proprietary estates, and, thus amended, pre- 
sented it to the governor, who by his signature made 
it a law.^ 

The House had failed to cany its point. The 
result disappointed Franklin, and doubly disappointed 
the Quakers. His maxim was: Beat the governor 
first, and then beat the enemy; theirs: Beat the gov- 
ernor, and let the enemy alone. The measures that 
followed, directed in part by Franklin himself, held 
the Indians in check, and mitigated the distress of 
the western counties; yet there was no safety for 
them throughout the two or three years when France 
was cheering on her hell-hounds against this tor- 
mented frontier. 

As in Pennsylvania, so in most of the other colonies 
there was conflict between assemblies and governors, 
to the unspeakable detriment of the public service. 
In New York, though here no obnoxious proprietary 
stood between the people and the Crown, the strife 
was long and severe. The point at issue was an 
important one, — whether the Assembly should con- 
tinue their practice of granting yearly supplies to the 
governor, or should establish a permanent fund for 
the ordinary expenses of government, - thus placing 
him beyond their control. The result was a victory 
for the Assembly. 

Month after month the great continent lay wrapped 
in snow. Far along the edge of the western wilder- 
ness men kept watch and ward in lonely block- 

^ Minute* of Council^ 27 November^ 1755. 

1755,1756.] THE EVIDENCE. 868 

houses, or scoured the forest on the track of prowling 
war-parties. The provincials in garrison at Forts 
Edwaixl, William Henry, and Oswego dragged out 
the dreary winter; while bands of New England 
rangers, mufSed against the piercing cold, caps of 
fur on their heads, hatchets in their belts, and guns 
in their mittened hands, glided on skates along the 
gleaming ice-floor of Lake George, to spy out the 
secrets of Ticonderoga, or seize some careless sentry 
to tell them tidings of the foe. Thus the petty war 
went on; but the big war was frozen into torpor, 
ready, like a hibernating bear, to wake again with 
the birds, the bees, and the flowers.^ 

^ On Pennsylvanian dispntes, — A Brief State of the Province oj 
Pennsylvania (London, 1755). A Brief View of the Conduct ofPenn- 
iylvania (London, 1756). These are pamphlets on the governor't 
tide, by WiUiam Smith, D. D., ProYOSt of the College of Pennsyl- 
rania. An Answer to an invidious Pamphlet, intituled a Brief State, 
etc. (London, 1755). Anonymous. A True and Impartial State of 
the Province of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 1750).. Anonymous. 
The last two works attack the first two with great yehemence. The 
True and Impartial State is an able presentation of the case of the 
Assembly, omitting, however, essential facts. But the most elabo- 
rate work on the subject is the Historical Review of the Constitution 
and Government of Pennsylvania, inspired and partly written by 
Franklin. It is hotly partisan, and sometimes sophistical and 
unfair. Articles on the quarrel will alio be found in the prorincial 
newspapers, especially the New York Mercury, and in the Gentle- 
man's Magazine for 1755 and 1756. But it is impossible to get any 
clear and just view of it without wading through the interminable 
documents concerning it in the Colonial Records of Pennsylvania and 
the Pennsylvania Archives, 




Wjlr declared. — State of Euhope. — Pompadouh Aim Mabia 
Theresa. — Infatuatiok of the French Court. — The Euro- 
pean War. — Montcalm to command in America : his earlt 
Life; an intractable Pupil; his Marriage; his Family; 
HIS Campaigns; Preparation for America; hib Absociatsi. 

— ltvis, bourlamaque, bougainville. — embarkation. — 
The Voyage. — Arrival. — Vaudreuil. — Forces of Canada. 

— Troops of the Line, Colony Troops, Militia, Indians.— 
The Military Situation. — Capture of Fort Bull. — Mont- 
calm at Ticonderooa. 

On the eighteenth of May, 1756, England, after a 
year of open hostility, at length declared war. She 
had attacked France by land and sea, turned loose 
her ships to prey on French commerce, and brought 
some three hundred prizes into her ports. It was 
the act of a weak government, suppljdng by spasms 
of violence what it lacked in considerate resolution. 
France, no match for her amphibious enemy in the 
game of marine depredation, cried out in horror; and 
to emphasize her complaints and signalize a pretended 
good faith which her acts had belied, ostentatiously 
released a British frigate captured by her cruisers. 
She in her turn declared war on the ninth of June: 


and now began the most terrible conflict of the eigh- 
teenth century, — one that convulsed Europe and 
shook America, India, the coasts of Africa, and the 
islands of the sea. 

In Europe the ground was trembling already with 
the coming earthquake. Such smothered discords, 
such animosities, ambitions, jealousies, possessed the 
rival governments; such entanglements of treaties 
and alliances, offensive or defensive, open or secret, 
— that a blow at one point shook the whole fabric. 
Hanover, like the heel of Achilles, was the vulner- 
able part for which England was alwajB trembling. 
Therefore she made a defensive treaty with Prussia, 
by which each party bound itself to aid the other, 
should its territory be invaded. England thus sought 
a guarantee against France, and Prussia against 
Russia. She had need. Her King, Frederic the 
Great, had drawn upon himself an avalanche. Three 
women — two empresses and a concubine — controlled 
the forces of the three great nations, Austria, Russia, 
and France; and they all hated him: Elizabeth of 
Russia, by reason of a distrust fomented by secret 
intrigue and turned into gall by the biting tongue of 
Frederic himself, who had gibed at her amours, com- 
pared her to Messalina, and called her ^inf6,me eatin 
du Nord ; '* Maria Theresa of Austria, because she saw 
in him a rebellious vassal of the Holy Roman Empire, 
and, above all, because he had robbed her of Silesia; 
Madame de Pompadour, because when she sent him 
a message of compliment, he answered, ^^Je ne la 

866 MONTCALM. [1759. 

eonnais paa,^^ forbade his ambassador to visit her, and 
in his mocking wit spared neither her nor her royal 
lover. Feminine pique, revenge, or vanity had then 
at their service the mightiest armaments of Europe. 

The recovery of Silesia and the punishment of 
Frederic for his audacity in seizing it, possessed the 
mind of Maria Theresa with the force of a ruling 
passion. ^To these ends she had joined herself in 
secret league with Russia; and now at the prompting 
of her minister Kaunitz she courted the alliance of 
France. It was a reversal of the hereditary policy of 
Austria; joining hands with an old and deadly foe, 
and spuming England, of late her most trusty ally. 
But France could give powerful aid against Frederic; 
and hence Maria Theresa, virtuous as she was high- 
bom and proud, stooped to make advances to the all- 
powerful mistress of Louis XV., wrote her flattering 
Jletters, and addressed her, it is said, as ^^Ma cfiire 
eousine.^^ Pompadour was delighted, and could 
hardly do enough for her imperial friend. She ruled 
the King, and could make and unmake ministers at 
will. They hastened to do her pleasure, disguising 
their subserviexicy by dressing it out in specious 
reasons of state* A conference at her summer-house, 
called Babiole, ^Bawble," prepared the way for a 
treaty which involved the nation in the anti-Prussian 
war, and made it the instrument of Austria in the 
attempt to humble Frederic, — an attempt which if 
successful would give the hereditary enemy of France 
a predominance over Germany. France engaged to 


aid the cause with twenty-four thousand men, but in 
the zeal of her rulers began with a hundred thousand. 
Thus the three great Powers stood leagfued against 
Prussia. Sweden and Saxony joined them; and the 
Empire itself, of which Prussia was a part, took 
arms against its obnoxious member. 

Never in Europe had power been more centralized, 
and never in France had the reins been held by 
persons so pitiful, impelled by motives so contemp- 
tible. The levity, vanity, and spite of a concubine 
became a mighty engine to influence the destinies of 
nations. Louis XV., enervated by pleasures and 
devoured by ennuij still had his emotions; he shared 
Pompadour's detestation of Frederic, and he was 
tormented at times by a lively fear of damnation. 
But how damn a king who had entered the lists aa 
champion of the Church ? England was Protestant^ 
and so was Prussia ; Austria was supremely Catholio. 
Was it not a merit in the eyes of God to join her in 
holy war against the poweni of heresy? The King 
of the Parc-aux-Cerb would propitiate Heaven by a 
new crusade. 


Henceforth France was to tmii her strength against 
her European foes ; and the American wsr, the occa« 
sion of the universal outbreak, was to hold in her 
eyes a second place. The reasons were several : the 
vanity of Pompadour, infatuated by the advances of 
the Empress-Queen, and eager to secure her good 
graces; the superstition of the King; the anger of 
both against Frederic; the desire of D'Argenson, 

868 MONTCALM. [1758. 

minister of war, that the army^ and not the navy, 
should play the foremost part; and the passion of 
courtiers and nobles, ignorant of the naval service, to 
win laurels in a continental war, — all conspired to 
one end. It was the interest of France to turn her 
strength against her only dangerous rival; to con- 
tinue as she had begun, in building up a naval power 
that could face England on the seas and sustain her 
own rising colonies in America, India, and the West 
Indies; for she too might have multiplied herself, 
planted her language and her race over all the globe, 
and grown with the growth of her children, had she 
not been at the mercy of an effeminate profligate, a 
mistress turned procuress, and the favorites to whom 
they delegated power. 

Still, something must be done for the American 
war; at least there must be a new general to replace 
Dieskau. None of the court favorites wanted a com- 
mand in the backwoods, and the minister of war was 
free to choose whom he %ould. His choice fell on 
Louis Joseph, Marquis de M ontcalm-Gozon de Sai-it- 

Montcalm was bom in the south of France, at the 
Chslteau of Candiac, near Ntmes, on the twenty- 
ninth of February, 1712. At the age of six he was 
placed in the charge of one Dumas, a natural son of 
his grandfather. This man, a conscientious pedant, 
with many theories of education, ruled his pupil 
stifiBy ; and, before the age of fifteen, gave him a good 
knowledge of Latin, Greek, and history. Yoking 

i766.] s HIS BOYHOOD. 869 

Montcalm had a taste for books, continued his read* 
ing in such intervals of leisure as camps and garrisons 
afforded, and cherished to the end of his life the 
ambition of becoming a member of the Academy. 
Yet, with all his liking for study, he sometimes 
revolted against the sway of the pedagogue who 
wrote letters of complaint to his father protesting 
against the "judgments of the vulgar, who, contrary 
to the experience of ages, say that if children are 
well reproved they will correct their faults." 
Dumas, however, was not without sense, as is 
shown by another letter to the elder Montcalm, in 
which he says that the boy had better be ignorant of 
Latin and Greek " than know them as he does with- 
out knowing how to read, write, and speak French 
well." The main difficulty was to make him write a 
good hand, — a point in which he signally failed to 
the day of his death. So refractory was he at times 
that his master despaired. "M. de Montcalm,'* 
Dumas informs the father, "has great need of docil- 
ity, industry, and willingness to take advice. What 
will become of him?" The pupil, aware of these 
aspersions, met them by writing to his father his own 
ideas of what his aims should be. "First, to be an 
honorable man, of good morals, brave, and a Chris- 
tian. Secondly, to read in moderation; to know as 
much Greek and Latin as most men of the world; 
also the four rules of arithmetic, and something of 
history, geography, and French and Latin belleS" 
Uttres, as well as to have a taste for the arts and 

TOL. I. — 24 

870 MONTCALM. [1727-1786l 

sciences. Thirdly, and above all, to be obedient, 
docile, and very submissive to your orders and those 
of my dear mother; and also to defer to the advice 
of M. Dumas. Fourthly, to fence and ride as well 
as my smaU abUities wiU permit."* 

If Louis de Montcalm failed to satisfy his pre* 
ceptor, he had a brother who made ample amends. 
Of this infant prodigy it is related that at six years 
he knew Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and had some 
acquaintance with arithmetic, French history, geog- 
raphy, and heraldry. He was destined for the 
Church, but died at the age of seven; his precocious 
brain having been urged to fatal activity by the 
exertions of Dumas. 

Other destinies and a more wholesome growth 
were the lot of young Louis. At fifteen he joined 
the army as ensign in the regiment of Hainaut. Two 
years after, his father bought him a captaincy, and 
he was first under fire at the siege of Philipsbourg. 
His father died in 1735, and left him heir to a con- 
siderable landed estate, much embarrassed by debt. 
The Marquis de la Fare, a friend of the family, soon 
after sought for him an advantageous marriage to 
strengthen his position and increase his prospects of 
promotion; and he accordingly espoused Mademoi- 
selle Ang^lique Louise Talon du Boulay, — a union 
which brought him influential alliances and some 
property. Madame de Montcalm bore him ten chil- 
dren, of whom only two sons and four daughters 

^ Tins passage is giren by Somerrogel from the original letter. 

1741-1746.] HIS EARLY CAMPAIGNS. 871 

were living in 1752. "May God preserve them all," 
he writes in his autobiography, "and make them 
prosper for this world and the next! Perhaps it will 
be thought that the number is large for so moderate 
a fortune, especially as four of them are girls; but 
does God ever abandon his children in their need? 

"' Auz petits dee oiseaux il donne la pAture, 
£t Ba bont^ s'^tend but toute la nature.' " 

He was pious in his soldierly way, and ardently loyal 
to Church and King. 

His family seat was Candiac ; where, in the inter- 
vals of campaigning, he found repose with his wife, 
his children, and his mother, who was a woman of 
remarkable force of character and who held great 
influence over her son. He had a strong attachment 
to this home of his childhood; and in after years, 
out of the midst of the American wilderness, his 
thoughts turned longingly towards it. ^^Qtcand 
reverrai'je man cher Candiac I " 

In 1741 Montcalm took part in the Bohemian 
campaign. He was made colonel of the regiment of 
Auxerrois two years later, and passed unharmed 
through the severe campaign of 1744. In the next 
year he fought in Italy under Mar^chal de Maillebois. 
In 1746, at the disastrous action under the walls of 
Piacenza, where he twice rallied his regiment, he 
received five sabre-cuts, — two of which were in the 
head, — and was made prisoner. Returning to 
France on parole, he was promoted in the year f ol- 

872 MONTCALM. [1765, 1756. 

lowing to the rank of brigadier; and being soon after 
exchanged, rejoined the army, and was again wounded 
by a musket-shot. The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle 
now gave him a period of rest.^ At length, being on 
a visit to Paris late in the autumn of 1755, the 
minister, D'Argenson, hinted to him that he might 
be appointed to command the troops in America. 
He heard no more of the matter till, after his return 
home, he received from D'Argenson a letter dated at 
Versailles the twenty-fifth of Januaiy, at midnight, 
"Perhaps, Monsieur," it began, "you did not expect 
to hear from me again on the subject of the conver- 
sation I had with you the day you came to bid me 
farewell at Paris. Nevertheless I have not forgotten 
for a moment the suggestion I then made you; and 
it is with the greatest pleasure that I announce to 
you that my views have prevailed. The King has 
chosen you to command his troops in North America, 
and will honor you on your departure with the rank 
of major-general." 

The Chevalier de L^vis, afterwards Marshal of 
France, was named as his second in command with 
the rank of brigadier, and the Chevalier de Bour- 
lamaque as his third, with the rank of colonel; but 

1 The account of Montcalm up to this time is chiefly from his 
unpublished autobiography, preserved by his descendants, and en- 
titled AfAnoires pour servir a VHistoire de ma Vie, Somerrogei, 
Comme on servait autrefois; Bonnechose, Montcalm et le Canada; 
Martin, Le Marquis de Montcalm ; Eloge de Montcalm ; Autre jSloge 
de Montcalm ; M Moires snr le Canada, 1740-1700, and other writinrs 
in print and manuscript bare also been consulted. 


what especially pleased him was the appointment of 
his eldest son to command a regiment in France. 
He set out from Candiac for the court, and occupied 
himself on the way with reading Charlevoix. *^I 
take great pleasure in it," he writes from Lyons to 
his mother; ^^he gives a pleasant account of Quebec. 
But be comforted; I shall always be glad to come 
home." At Paris he writes again: "Don't expect 
any long letter from me before the first of March; 
all my business will be done by that time, and I 
shall begin to breathe again. I have not yet seen 
the Chevalier de Montcalm [his sori]. Last night I 
came from Versailles, and am going back to-morrow. 
The King gives me twenty-five thousand francs a 
year, as he did to M. Dieskau, besides twelve thou- 
sand for my equipment, which will cost me above a 
thousand crowns more; but I cannot stop for that. 
I embrace my dearest and all the family." A few 
days later his son joined him. " He is as thin and 
delicate as ever, but grows prodigiously tall." 

On the second of March he informs his mother: 
"My affairs begin to get on. A good part of the 
baggage went off the day before yesterday in the 
King's wagons; an assistant-cook and two livery- 
men yesterday. I have got a good cook. Estfeve, 
my secretary, will go on the eighth; Joseph and 
D^jean will follow me. To-morrow evening I go to 
Versailles till Sunday, and will write from there to 
Madame de Montcalm [his vnfe\. I have three aides- 
de-camp; one of them, Bougainville, a man of parts, 

874 MONTCALM. [1766. 

pleasant company. Madame Mazade was happily 
delivered on Wednesday; in extremity on Friday 
with a malignant fever; Saturday and yesterday, 
reports favorable. I go there twice a day, and am 
just going now. She has a girl. I embrace you 
all." Again, on the fifteenth: "In a few hours I 
set out for Brest. Yesterday I presented my son, 
with whom I am well pleased, to all the royal family. 
I shall have a secretary at Brest, and will write more 
at length." On the eighteenth he writes from 
Rennes to his wife: "I arrived, dearest, this morn- 
ing, and stay here all day. I shall be at Brest on 
the twenty-first. Everything will be on board on 
the twenty-sixth. My son has been here since yes- 
terday for me to coach him and get him a uniform 
made, in which he will give thanks for his regiment 
at the same time that I take leave in my embroidered 
coat. Perhaps I shall leave debts behind. I wait 
impatiently for the bills. You have my will ; I wish 
you would get it copied, and send it to me before I 

Reaching Brest, the place of embarkation, he 
writes to his mother: "I have business on hand still. 
My health is good, and the passage will be a time of 
rest. I embrace you, and my dearest, and my 
daughters. Love to all the family. I shall write 
up to the last moment." 

No translation can give an idea of the rapid, abrupt, 
elliptical style of this familiar correspondence, where 
the meaning is sometimes suggested by a single word. 

1766.] LtVJS; BOUGAINVILLE. 876 

unintelligible to any but those for whoui it is 

At the end of March Montcalm, with all his fol- 
lowing, was ready to embark; and three ships-of-the- 
line, the " Leopard, ". the " H^ros, " and the " Illustre, " 
fitted out as transports, were ready to receive the 
troops; while the general, with L^vis and Bourla- 
maque, were to take passage in the frigates *^ Licome," 
" Sauvage, " and " Sir^ne. " " I Uke the ChevaUer de 
L^vis," says Montcalm, "and I think he likes me." 
His first aide-de-camp, Bougainville, pleased him, if 
possible, still more. This young man, son of a 
notary, had begun life as an advocate in the Parlia- 
ment of Paris, where his abilities and learning had 
already made him conspicuous, when he resigned the 
gown for the sword, and became a captain of dra- 
goons. He was destined in later life to win laurels 
in another career, and to become one of the most 
illustrious of French navigators. Montcalm, himself 
a scholar, prized his varied talents and accomplish- 
ments, and soon learned to feel for him a strong 
personal regard. 

The troops destined for Canada were only two 
battalions, one belonging to the regiment of La 
Sarre, and the other to that of Royal RoussiUon. 
Louis XV. and Pompadour sent a hundred thousand 
men to fight the battles of Austria, and could spare 
but twelve hundred to reinforce New France. These 
troops marched into Brest at early morning, break- 
fasted in the town, and went at once on board the 

876 MONTCALM. [17561 

transports, ^^with an incredible gayety/' says Bou- 
gainville. ** What a nation is ours I Happy he who 
commands it, and commands it worthilyl"^ Mont- 
calm and he embarked in the ^^Licome," and sailed 
on the third of April, leaving L^vis and Bourlamaque 
to follow a few days after. ^ 

The voyage was a rough one. " I have been fortu- 
nate," writes Montcalm to his wife, "in not being ill 
nor at all incommoded by the heavy gale we had in 
Holy Week. It was not so with those who were with 
me, especially M. Estdve, my secretary, and Joseph, 
who suffered cruelly, — seventeen days without being 
able to take anything but water. The season was 
very early for such a hard voyage, and it was fortu- 
nate that the winter has been so mild. We had very 
favorable weather till Monday the twelfth; but since 
then till Saturday evening we had rough weather, with 
a gale that lasted ninety hours, and put us in real 
danger. The forecastle was always under water, and 
the waves broke twice over the quarter-deck. From 
the twenty-seventh of April to the evening of the 
fourth of May we had fogs, great cold, and an amazing 
quantity of icebergs. On the thirtieth, when luckily 
the fog lifted for a time, we counted sixteen of them. 
The day before, one drifted under the bowsprit, 
grazed it, and might have crushed us if the deck- 
officer had not called out quickly. Luff. After 

^ Journal de Bougainville. This is a fragment ; his Joumal proper 
begins a few weeks later. 
1 LAjit i , 6 AvfH, 1756. 

1766.] THE VOYAGE. 877 

speaking of our troubles and sufferings, I must tell 
you of our pleasures, which were fishing for cod and 
eating it. The taste is exquisite. The head, tongue, 
and liver are morsels worthy of an epicure. Still, I 
would not advise anybody to make the voyage for 
their sake. My health is as good as it has been for a 
long time. I found it a good plan to eat little and 
take no supper; a little tea now and then, and plenty 
of lemonade. Neveriiieless I have taken very little 
liking for the sea, and think that when I shall be so 
happy as to rejoin you I shall end my voyages there. 
I don't know when this letter will go. I shall send 
it by the first ship that returns to France, and keep 
on writing till then. It is pleasant, I know, to hear 
particulars about the people one loves, and I thought 
that my mother and you, my dearest and most 
beloved, would be glad to read all these dull details. 
We heard mass on Easter Day. All the week before, 
it was impossible, because the ship rolled so that I 
could hardly keep my legs. If I had dared, I think 
I should have had myself lashed fast. I shall not 
soon forget that Holy Week.'* 

This letter was written on the eleventh of May, in 
the St. Lawrence, where the ship lay at anchor, ten 
leagues below Quebec, stopped by ice from proceed- 
ing farther. Montcalm made his way to the town 
by land, and soon after learned with great satisfac- 
tion that the other ships were safe in the river below. 
"I see," he writes again, "that I shall have plenty of 
work. Our campaign will soon begin. Everything 


is in motion. Don't expect details about our opera- 
tions; generals never speak of movements till they 
are over. I can only tell you that the winter has 
been quiet enough, though the savages have made 
great havoc in Pennsylvania and Virginia, and 
carried off, according to their custom, men, women, 
and children. I beg you will have High Mass said 
at Montpellier or Vauvert to thank God for our safe 
arrival and ask for good success in future."^ 

Vaudreuil, the governor-general, was at Montreal, 
and Montcalm sent a courier to inform him of his 
arrival. He soon went thither in person, and the 
two men met for the first time. The new general 
was not welcome to Vaudreuil, who had hoped to 
command the troops himself, and had represented 
to the court that it was needless and inexpedient to 
send out a general officer from France.^ The court 
had not accepted his views ;^ and hence it was with 
more curiosity than satisfaction that he greeted the 
colleague who had been assigned him. He saw 
before him a man of small stature, with a lively 
countenance, a keen eye, and, in moments of anima- 
tion, rapid, vehement utterance, and nervous gesticu- 
lation. Montcalm, we may suppose, regarded the 
governor with no less attention. Pierre Frangois 
Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil, was son of Philippe 
de Vaudreuil, who had governed Canada early in 

1 These extracts are translated from copies of the original letters, 
in possession of the present Marquis de Montcalm. 

* Vaudreuil au MinUtre, 30 Octchre, 1766. 

* Ordres du Roy et D^ches des Ministres, FArier, 1766 

1756.] VAUDREUIL. 879 

the century; and he himself had been governor of 
Louisiana. He had not the force of character which 
his position demanded, lacked decision in times of 
crisis; and though tenacious of authority, was more 
jealous in asserting than self-reliant in exercising it. 
One of his traits was a sensitive egotism, which made 
him forward to proclaim his own part in every suc- 
cess, and to throw on others the burden of every 
failure. He was facile by nature, and capable of 
being led by such as had skill and temper for the 
task. But the impetuous Montcalm was not of their 
number; and the fact that he was bom in France 
would in itself have thrown obstacles in his way to 
the good graces of the governor. Vaudreuil, Cana- 
dian by birth, loved the colony and its people, and 
distrusted Old France and all that came out of it. 
He had been bred, moreover, to the naval service; 
and, like other Canadian governors, his o£Qcial cor- 
respondence was with the minister of marine, while 
that of Montcalm was with the minister of war. 
Even had Nature made him less suspicious, his rela- 
tions with the general would have been critical. 
Montcalm commanded the regulars from France, 
whose very presence was in the eyes of Vaudreuil 
an evil, though a necessary one. Their chief was, 
it is true, subordinate to him in virtue of his o£Qce 
of governor; ^ yet it was clear that for the conduct of 

1 Le Minittre a Vaudreuil, 15 Mars, 1756. Cammiinon du Marqun 
de Montcalm, M€movn du Roy pour servir d*InMtructUm au Marquis ds 

880 MONTCALM. [175a 

the war the trust of the govemment was mainly in 
Montcalm; and the minister of war had even sug- 
gested that he should have the immediate command, 
not only of the troops from France, but of the colony 
regulars and the militia. An order of the King to 
this effect was sent to Yaudreuil, with instructions 
to communicate it to Montcalm or withhold it, as he 
should think best.^ He lost no time in replying that 
the general *^ ought to concern himself with nothing 
but the command of the troops from France;" and 
he returned the order to the minister who sent it.* 
The governor and the general represented the two 
parties which were soon to divide Canada, — those of 
New France and of Old. 

A like antagonism was seen in the forces com- 
manded by the two chiefs. These were of three 
kinds, — the troupes de terre^ troops of the line, or 
regulars from France; the troupes de la marine^ or 
colony regulars; and lastly the militia. The first 
consisted of the four battalions that had come over 
with Dieskau and the two that had come with Mont- 
calm, comprising in all a little less than three thou- 
sand men.' Besides these, the battalions of Artois 

^ Ordres du Roy et D^pSches de» Ministres, 1766. Le Mlnittre h 
Vaudreuil, 15 Mars, 1766. 

^ Vaudreuil au MinUtrt, 16 Jtitn, 1756. " Qu'il ne ae m61e que dn 
commandement des troupes de terre." 

* Of about twelve hundred who came with Montcalm, nearly 
three hundred were now in hospital. The four battalions that came 
with Dieskau are reported at the end of May to have sixteen hun- 
dred and fifty-three effective men. ]^tat de la Situation actuelle dei 
Bataillons, appended to Montcalm's despatch of 12 June. Another 

1766.] TROOPS IN CANADA. 881 

and Boiugogne, to the number of eleven hundred 
men, were in garrison at Louisbourg. All these 
troops wore a white uniform, faced with blue, red, 
yellow, or violet,^ a black three-cornered hat, and 
gaiters, generally black, from the foot to the knee. 
The subaltern officers in the French service were 
very numerous, and were drawn chiefly from the class 
of lesser nobles, A well-informed French writer 
calls them ^*a generation of petits-maitres^ dissolute, 
frivolous, heedless, light- witted ; but brave always, 
and ready to die with their soldiers, though not to 
suffer with them."* In fact, the course of the war 
was to show plainly that in Europe the regiments of 
France were no longer what they had once been. It 
was not so with those who fought in America. 
Here, for enduring gallantry, officers and men alike 
deserve nothing but praise. 

The troupes de la marine had for a long time 
formed the permanent militaiy establishment of 
Canada. Though attached to the naval department, 
they served on land, and were employed as a police 
within the limits of the colony, or as garrisons of the 
outlying forts, where their officers busied themselves 
more with fur-trading than with their military duties. 

document. Detail de ce qui s'ext pa8s€ en Canada, Juin, 1765, jusqua 
Juin, 1766, sets the united effective strength of the battalions in 
Canada at twenty-six hundred and seven ty-^even, which was in* 
creased by recruits which arrived from France about midsummer. 

^ Except, perhaps, the battalion of B<^am, which formerly wore, 
and possibly wore still, a uniform of light blue. 

^ Susane, Ancienne In/anterie Fran^ise. In the atlas of this 
Work are colored plates of the uniforms of aU the regiments of foot 

882 MONTCALM. [1760. 

Thus they had become ill-disciplined and inefficient* 
till the hard hand of Duquesne restored them to 
order. They originally consisted of twenty-eight 
independent companies, increased in 1750 to thirty 
companies, at first of fifty, and afterwards of sixty- 
five men each, forming a total of nineteen hundred 
and fifty rank and file. In March, 1757, ten more 
companies were added. Their uniform was not 
unlike that of the troops attached to the War Depart- 
ment, being white, with black facings. They were 
enlisted for the most part in France ; but when their 
term of service expired, and even before, in time of 
peace, they were encouraged to become settlers in 
the colony, as was also the case with their officerR, 
of whom a great part were of European birth. Thus 
the relations of the troupes de la marine with the 
colony were close; and they formed a sort of con- 
necting link between the troops of the line and the 
native militia.^ Besides these colony regulars, there 
was a company of colonial artillery, consisting this 
year of seventy men, and replaced in 1757 by two 
companies of fifty men each. 

All the effective male population of Canada, from 
fifteen years to sixty, was enrolled in the miHtjft, 

^ On the troupes de la marine, — Mimoire pour $ervir d* Instruction h, 
MM. Jonquihe et Bigot, 80 Avril, 1749. Ordres du Roy et D^ches 
dei Ministres, 1760. Ibid., 1766. Ibid., 1767. Instruction pour Vau- 
dreuil, 22 Mars, 1766. Ordonnance pour f Augmentation de Soldats dans 
les Compagnies de Canada, 14 Mars, 1766. Duquesne au Ministrt, 26 
OrtoAre, 1763. /6irf., 30 Octobre, 1763. Ibid,, 2» Fourier, 17 U. Du- 
quesne h Marin, 27 Ao4U, 1768. Atlas de Susans, 


and called into service at the will of the governor. 
They received arms, clothing, equipment, and rations 
from the King, but no pay; and instead of tents they 
made themselves huts of bark or branches. The best 
of them were drawn from the upper parts of the 
colony, where habits of bush-ranging were still in full 
activity. Their fighting qualities were much like 
those of the Indians, whom they rivaUed in endur- 
ance and in the arts of forest war. As bush-fighters 
they had few equals ; they fought well behind earth- 
works, and were good at a surprise or sudden dash ; 
but for regular battle on the open field they were of 
small account, being disorderly, and apt to break and 
take to cover at the moment of crisis. They had no 
idea of the great operations of war. At first they 
despised the regulars for their ignorance of wood- 
craft, and thought themselves able to defend the 
colony alone; while the regulars regarded them in 
turn with a contempt no less unjust. They were 
excessively given to gasconade, and every true Cana- 
dian boasted himself a match for three Englishmen 
at least. In 1750 the militia of all ranks counted 
about thirteen thousand; and eight years later the 
number had increased to about fifteen thousand.^ 
Until the last two years of the war, those employed 
in actual warfare were but few. Even in the critical 

^ R^tcapituiation des MUicen du Gauvememmit de Canada, 1760. 
Denombrement dei AfUices, 1768, 1750. On the militia, lee also Bon- 
gainTille in Margry, Relatioru et M€moi*^^ inidiu, 00, and N. Y. Col 
DocM,, z. 080. 

884 MONTCALM. [1758. 

year 1758 only about eleven hundred were called to 
arms, except for two or three weeks in summer;^ 
though about four thousand were employed in trans- 
porting troops and supplies, for which service they 
received pay. 

To the white fighting force of the colony are to be 
added the red men. The most trusty of them were 
the Mission Indians, living within or near the settled 
limits of Canada, chiefly the Hurons of Lorette, the 
Abenakis of St. Francis and Batiscan, the Iroquois 
of Caughnawaga, and La Presentation, and the 
Iroquois and Algonquins at the Two Mountains on 
the Ottawa. Besides these, all the warriors of the 
West and North, from Lake Superior to the Ohio, 
and from the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, were 
now at the beck of France. As to the Iroquois or 
Five Nations who still remained in their ancient seats 
within the present limits of New York, their power 
and pride had greatly fallen; and crowded as they 
were between the French and the English, they were 
in a state of vacillation, some leaning to one side, 
some to the other, and some to each in turn. As a 
whole, the best that France could expect from them 
was neutrality. 

Montcalm at Montreal had more visits than he 
liked from his red allies. " They are vUaina messieurs, " 
he informs his mother, " even when fresh from their 
toilet, at which they pass their lives. You would 
not believe it, but the men always carry to war, along 

^ Montcalm au Minittre, 1 Septembre, 1758. 


with their tomahawk and gun, a mirror to daub theiz 
faces with varioufl colors, and arrange feathers on 
their heads and rings in their ears and noses. They 
think it a great beauty to cut the rim of the ear and 
stretch it till it reaches the shoulder. Often they 
wear a laced coat, with no shirt at all. You would 
take them for so many masqueraders or devils. One 
needs the patience of an angel to get on with them. 
Ever since I have been here, I have had nothing but 
visits, harangues, and deputations of these gentry. 
The Iroquois ladies, who always take part in their 
government, came also, and did me the honor to 
bring me belts of wampum, which will obUge me to 
go to their village and sing the war-song. They are 
only a little way oflE. Yesterday we had eighty-three 
warriors here, who have gone out to fight. They 
make war with astounding cruelty, sparing neither 
men, women, nor children, and take off your scalp 
very neatly, — an operation which generally kills 

*^£veiything is horribly dear in this country; and 
I shall find it hard to make the two ends of the year 
meet, with the twenty-five thousand francs the King 
gives me. The Chevalier de L^vis did not join me 
till yesterday. His health is excellent. In a few 
days I shall send him to one camp, and M. de Bour- 
lamaque to another; for we have three of them: one 
at Carillon, eighty leagues from here, towards the 
place where M. de Dieskau had his affair last year; 
another at Frontenac, sixty leagues; and the third 

TOL. I. — 25 

886 MOXTCALM. [175d. 

at Niagara, a hundred and forty leagues. I don't 
know when or whither I shall go myself; that 
depends on the movements of the enemy. It seems 
to me that things move slowly in this new world; 
and I shall have to moderate my activity accordingly. 
Nothing but the King's service and the wish to make 
a career for my son could prevent me from thinking 
too much of my expatriation, my distance from you, 
and the dull existence here, which would be duller 
still if I did not manage to keep some little of my 
natural gayety." 

The miUtary situation was somewhat perplexing. 
Iroquois spies had brought reports of great prepara- 
tions on the part of the English. As neither party 
dared offend these wavering tribes, tiieir warriors 
could pass with impunity from one to the other, and 
were paid by each for bringing information, not 
always trustworthy. They declared that the English 
were gathering in force to renew the attempt made 
by Johnson the year before against Crown Point and 
Ticonderoga, as well as that made by Shirley against 
Forts Frontenac and Niagara. Vaudreuil had spared 
no effort to meet the double danger. Lotbinidre, a 
Canadian engineer, had been busied during tiie 
winter in fortifying Ticonderoga, while Pouchot, a 
captain in the battalion of B^am, had rebuilt 
Niagara, and two French engineers were at work in 
strengthening the defences of Frontenac. The gov* 
emor even hoped to take the offensive, anticipate the 
movements of the English, capture Oswego, and 

1756.] FORT BULL. 88T 

obtain the complete command of Lake Ontario. 
Early in the spring a blow had been struck which 
materially aided these schemes. 

The English had built two small forts to guard 
the Great Carrying Place on the route to Oswego. 
One of these, Fort Williams, was on the Mohawk; 
the other, Fort Bull, a mere collection of storehouses 
surrounded by a palisade, was four miles distant, on 
the bank of Wood Creek. Here a great quantity of 
stores and ammunition had imprudently been col- 
lected against the opening campaign. In February 
Vaudreuil sent Ldry, a colony officer, with three 
hundred and sixty-two picked men, soldiers, Cana- 
dians, and Indians, to seize these two posts. Towards 
the end of March, after extreme hardship, they 
reached the road that connected them, and at half- 
past five in the morning captured twelve men going 
with wagons to Fort Bull. Learning from them the 
weakness of that place, they dashed forward to sur- 
prise it. The thirty provincials of Shirley's regiment 
who formed the garrison had barely time to shut the 
gate, while the assailants fired on them through the 
loopholes, of which they got possession in the tumult. 
L^ry called on the defenders to yield; but they 
refused, and pelted the French for an hour with 
bullets and hand-grenades. The gate was at last 
beat down with axes, and they were summoned 
again; but again refused, and fired hotly through 
the opening. The French rushed in, shouting Vive 
le TOly and a frightful struggle followed. All the 

888 MONTCALM. [175d. 

garrison were killed, except two or three who hid 
themselves till the slaughter was over; the fort was 
set on fire and blown to atoms by the explosion of 
the magazines ; and L^ry then withdrew, not ventur- 
ing to attack Fort Williams. Johnson, warned by 
Indians of the approach of the French, had pushed 
up the Mohawk with reinforcements; but came too 

Vaudreuil, who always exaggerates any success in 
which he has had part, says that besides bombs, 
bullets, cannon-balls, and ofcher munitions, forty-five 
thousand pounds of gimpowder were destroyed on 
this occasion. It is certain that damage enough was 
done to retard English operations in the direction of 
Oswego sufiiciently to give the French time for 
securing all their posts on Lake Ontario. Before 
the end of June this was in good measure done. The 
battalion of B^am lay encamped before the now 
strong fort of Niagara, and the battalions of Guienne 
and La Sarre, with a body of Canadians, guarded 
Frontenac against attack. Those of La Reine and 
Languedoc had been sent to Ticonderoga, while the 
governor, with Montcalm and L^vis, still remained 
at Montreal watching the turn of events.^ Hither, 

^ Bigot au Ministre, 12 Auril, 1766. Vaudreuil au Ministre, 1 Juin, 
1766. Ibid., 8 Jnin, 1766. Journal de ee qui s'est pats€ en Canada 
depuiM U Mois (TOctobre, 1766, jugq^au Mois de Juin, 1766. Shirley to 
Fox, 7 May, 1766. Conduct of Major-General Shirley briefly stated. 
Information of Captain John ViearSf of the Fiftieth (Shirley's) Regiment. 
Eastburn, Faithful Narrative, Entick, i. 471. The French accounts 
place the number of English at sixty or eighty. 

^ Correspondance de Montcalm, Vaudreuil, et L^vis, 


too, came the intendant Francois Bigot, the most 
accomplished knave in Canada, yet indispensable for 
his vigor and executive skill; Bougainville, who had 
disarmed the jealousy of Vaudreuil, and now stood 
high in his good graces; and the adjutant-general, 
Montreuil, clearly a vain and pragmatic personage, 
who, having come to Canada with Dieskau the year 
before, thought it behooved him to give the general 
the advantage of his experience. ^^I like M. de 
Montcalm very much," he writes to the minister, 
^^ and will do the impossible to deserve his confidence. 
I have spoken to him in the same terms as to M. 
Dieskau; thus: * Trust only the French regulars for 
an expedition, but use the Canadians and Indians to 
harass the enemy. Don't expose yourself; send me 
to carry your orders to points of danger.' The 
colony officers do not like those from France. The 
Canadians are independent, spiteful, lying, boastful ; 
very good for skirmishing, very brave behind a tree, 
and very timid when not under cover. I think both 
sides will stand on the defensive. It does not seem 
to me that M. de Montcalm means to attack the 
enemy; and I think he is right. In this country a 
thousand men could stop three thousand."^ 

**M. de Vaudreuil overwhelms me with civilities," 
Montcalm writes to the minister of war. " I think 
that he is pleased with my conduct towards him, and 
that it persuades him there are general officers in 
France who can act under his orders without preju- 

^ Montreuil au MiniMtre, 12 Juin, 1756. The original is in cipher. 

890 MONTCALM. [1756. 

dice or ill-humor/'* "I am on good terms with 
him," he says again; ^^but not in his confidence, 
which he never gives to anybody from France. His 
intentions are good, but he is slow and irresolute." ' 

Indians presently brought word that ten thousand 
English were coming to attack Ticonderoga. A 
reinforcement of colony reg^ulars was at once de- 
spatched to join the two battalions already there; a 
third battalion. Royal Roussillon, was sent after 
them. The militia were called out and ordered to 
follow with all speed, while both Montcalm and 
L^vis hastened to the supposed scene of danger.^ 
They embarked in canoes on the Richelieu, coasted 
the shore of Lake Champlain, passed Fort Frederic 
or Crown Point, where all was activity and bustle, 
and reached Ticonderoga at the end of June. They 
found the fort, on which Lotbinidre had been at work 
all winter, advanced towards completion. It stood 
on the crown of the promontory, and was a square 
with four bastions, a ditch, blown in some parts out 
of the solid rock, bomb-proofs, barracks of stone, and 
a system of exterior defences as yet only begun. 
The rampart consisted of two parallel walls ten feet 
apart, built of the trunks of trees, and held together 
by transverse logs dovetailed at both ends, the space 

^ Montcalm au Ministre, 12 .711111, 1756. 

' Ibid., 19 Juin, 1756. " Je suis bien avec luy, sans sa conflance, 
qu'il ne donne jamais k personne de la France." Erroneouslj 
rendered in N. Y. Col. Docs., x. 421. 

* Montccdm au Ministre, 26 Juin, 1756. Detail de ce qui s*e$t pass^ 
Oetobrt, 175&-Jttm, 1756. 

1756.] LtVJS. 891 

between being filled with earth and gravel well 
packed.^ Such was the first Fort Ticonderoga, or 
Carillon, — a structure quite distinct from the later 
fort of which the ruins still stand on the same spot. 
The forest had been hewn away for some distance 
around, and the tents of the regulars and huts of the 
Canadians had taken its place; innumerable bark 
canoes lay along the strand; and gangs of men toiled 
at the unfinished works. 

Ticonderoga was now the most advanced position 
of the French, and Crown Point, which had before 
held that perilous honor, was in the second line. 
L^vis, to whom had been assigned the permanent 
command of this post of danger, set out on foot to 
explore the neighboring woods and mountains, and 
slept out several nights before he reappeared at the 
camp. "I do not think," says Montcalm, ^^that 
many high officers in Europe would have occasion to 
take such tramps as this. I cannot speak too well 
of him. Without being a man of brilliant parts, he 
has good experience, good sense, and a quick eye; 
and, though I had served with him before, I never 
should have thought that he had such promptness 
and efficiency. He has turned his campaigns to 
good account." ^ L^vis writes of his chief with equal 
warmth. ^ I do not know if the Marquis de Mont- 
calm is pleased with me, but I am sure that I am 

^ Lotbinth-e au Minittre, 31 Oetobre, 1756. Montcalm am MmitU^ 
20 JuiUet, 1766. 

< Montcalm au Mmiitre, 20 JmlUt, 1766. 

892 MONTCALM. [175(1 

very much so with him, and shall always be charmed 
to serve under his orders. It is not for me, Mon- 
seigneur, to speak to you of his merit and his talents. 
You know him better than anybody else ; but I may 
have the honor of assuring you that he has pleased 
everybody in this colony, and manages affairs with 
the Indians extremely well."^ 

The danger from the English proved to be still 
remote, and there was ample leisure in the camp. 
Duchat, a young captain in the battalion of Languedoc, 
used it in writing to his father a long account of 
what he saw about him, — the forests full of game; 
the ducks, geese, and partridges; the prodigious 
flocks of wild pigeons that darkened the air; the 
beais, the beavers; and above all the Indians, their 
canoes, dress, ball-play, and dances. "We are 
making here," says the military prophet, "a place 
that history will not forget. The English colonies 
have ten times more people than ours; but these 
wretches have not the least knowledge of war; and 
if they go out to fight, they must abandon wives, 
children, and all that they possess. Not a week 
passes but the French send them a band of hair-- 
dressers^ whom they would be very glad to dispense 
with. It is incredible what a quantity of scalps they 
bring us. In Virginia they have committed unheard- 
of cruelties, carried off families, burned a great many 
houses, and killed an infinity of people. These 
miserable English are in the extremity of distress, 

1 LiciB au MiniMtre, 17 JuOUt, 1760. 

1756.] DUCHAT'S RELATION. 393 

and repent too late the unjust war they began against 
us. It is a pleasure to make war in Canada. One 
is troubled neither witl^ horses nor baggage; the 
King provides everything. But it must be confessed 
that if it costs no money, one pays for it in another 
way, by seeing nothing but pease and bacon on the 
mess-table. Luckily the lakes are full of fish, and 
both officers and soldiers have to turn fishermen." ^ 

Meanwhile, at the head of Lake George, the raw 
bands of ever-active New England were mustering 
for the fray. 

^ Relation de M, Duchat, Capitaine au Raiment de Langwdoc, icriU 
on Camp de CariUon, 16 JuiUet, 1756. 



Thb Nbw Campaign. — Untimelt Change of Commandebs. — 
Eclipse of Shirlet. — Earl of Loudon. — Muster of Pro- 
vincials. — New England Levies. — Winslow at Lake 
George. — Johnson and the Five Nations. — Bradstreet 
AND HIS Boatmen. — Fight on the Onondaga. — Pestilence 
at Oswego. — Loudon and the Provincials. — New England 
Camps. — Armt Chaplains. — A Sudden Blow. — Montcalm 
ATTACKS Oswego: its Fall. 

When, at the end of the last year, Shirley returned 
from his bootless Oswego campaign, he called a 
council of war at New York and laid before it his 
scheme for the next summer's operations. It was a 
comprehensive one: to master Lake Ontario by an 
overpowering naval force and seize the French forts 
upon it, Niagara, Frontenac, and Toronto; attack 
Ticonderoga and Crown Point on the one hand, and 
Fort Duquesne on the other, and at the same time 
perplex and divide the enemy by an inroad down the 
Chaudidre upon the settlements about Quebec.^ The 

^ Minutes of Council of War held at New Yorkt 12 and 13 December, 
1755. Shirley to Robinson, 10 December, 1755. The Conduct of Majors 
General Shirley briefly stated. Review of Military Operations in North 

1766.] THE NEW CAMPAIGN. 895 

council approved the scheme; but to execute it the 
provinces must raise at least sixteen thousand men. 
This they refused to do. Pennsylvania and Virginia 
would take no active part, and were content with 
defending themselves. The attack on Fort Duquesne 
was therefore abandoned, as was also the diversion 
towards Quebec. The New England colonies were 
discouraged by Johnson's failure to take Crown 
Point, doubtful of the military abilities of Shirley, 
and embarrassed by the debts of the last campaign ; 
but when they learned that Parliament would grant 
a sum of money in partial compensation for their 
former sacrifices,^ they plunged into new debts with- 
out hesitation, and raised more men than the general 
had asked; though, with their usual jealousy, they 
provided that their soldiers should be employed for 
no other purpose than the attack on Ticonderoga and 
Crown Point. Shirley chose John Winslow to com- 
mand them, and gave him a commission to that 
effect; while he, to clinch his authority, asked and 
obtained supplementary commissions from every gov- 
ernment that gave men to the expedition.^ For the 
movement against the forts of Lake Ontario, which 
Shirley meant to command in person, he had the 

1 Lords of Trade to Lords of the Treaiwry, 12 February, 1766. Fox 
to American Governors, 13 March, 1766. Shirley to Phipps, 16 June, 
1766. The sum was £116,000, divided in proportion to the expense 
incurred by the several colonies; Massachusetts having £64,000, 
Connecticut £26,000, and New York £16,000, the rest being given to 
New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New Jersey. 

3 Letter and Order Books of General Winslow, 1766. 

896 OSWEGO. [1766. 

remains of his own and Pepperrell's regiments, the 
two shattered battalions brought over by Braddock, 
the ^^ Jersey Blues," four provincial companies from 
North Carolina, and the four King's companies of 
New York. His first care was to recruit their ranks 
and raise them to their full complement; which, 
when effected, would bring them up to the insuffi- 
cient strength of about forty-four hundred men. 

While he was struggling with contradictions and 
cross purposes, a withering blow fell upon him; he 
learned that he was superseded in the command. 
The cabal formed against him, with Delancey at its 
head, had won over Sir Charles Hardy, the new 
governor of New York, and had painted Shirley's 
conduct in such colors that the ministry removed 
him. It was essential for the campaign that a suc- 
cessor should be sent at once, to form plans on the 
spot and make preparations accordingly. The min- 
istry were in no such haste. It was presently 
announced that Colonel Daniel Webb would be sent 
to America, followed by General James Abercrombie ; 
who was to be followed in turn by the Earl of 
Loudon, the destined commander-in chief. Shirley 
was to resign his command to Webb, Webb to 
Abercrombie, and Abercrombie to Loudon.^ It 
chanced that the two former arrived in June at about 

1 Fox to Shirley, 13 March, 1756. Ibid., 31 March, 1756. Order to 
Colonel Webb, 31 March, 1756. Order to Major-General Abercrombie,! 
AprU, 1756. Halifax to ShirUg, 1 April, 1756. ShirUy to Fox, IS 
June, 1756. 


the same time, while the earl came in July; and mean- 
while it devolved on Shirley to make ready for them. 
Unable to divine what their plans would be, he pre- 
pared the campaign in accordance with his own. 

His star, so bright a twelvemonth before, was now 
misembly dimmed. In both his public and private 
life he was the butt of adversity. He had lost two 
promising sons ; he had made a mortifying failure as 
a soldier; and triumphant enemies were rejoicing in 
his fall. It is to the credit of his firmness and his 
zeal in the cause that he set himself to his task with 
as much vigor as if he, and not others, were to gather 
the fruits. His chief care was for his favorite enter- 
prise in the direction of Lake Ontario. Making 
Albany his headquarters, he rebuilt the fort at the 
Great Carrying Place destroyed in March by the 
French, sent troops to guard the perilous route to 
Oswego, and gathered provisions and stores at tha 
posts along the way. 

Meanwhile the New England men, strengthened 
by the levies of New York, were mustering at Albany 
for the attack of Crown Point At the end of May 
they moved a short distance up the Hudson, and 
encamped at a place called Half-Moon, where the 
navigation was stopped by rapids. Here and at the 
posts above were gathered something more than five 
thousand men, as raw and untrained as those led by 
Johnson in the summer before.^ The four New Eng- 
land colonies were much alike in their way of raising 

1 LeUer and Order Books of WimUno, 1766. 

898 OSWEGO. [175«. 

and equipping men, and the example of Massachu- 
setts may serve for them all. The Assembly or 
"General Court" voted the required number, and 
chose a committee of war authorized to impress pro* 
visions, munitions, stores, clothing, tools, and othei 
necessaries, for which &ir prices were to be paid 
within six months. The governor issued a proclama- 
tion calling for volunteers. If the full number did 
not appear within the time named, the colonels of 
militia were ordered to muster their regiments, and 
immediately draft out of them men enough to meet 
the need. A bounty of six dollars was offered this 
year to stimulate enlistment, and the pay of a private 
soldier was fixed at one pound six shillings a month, 
Massachusetts currency. If he brought a gun, he 
had an additional bounty of two dollars. A powder^ 
horn, bullet-pouch, blanket, knapsack, and "wooden 
bottle," or canteen, were supplied by the province; 
and if he brought no gun of his own, a musket was 
given him, for which, as for the other articles, he 
was to account at the end of the campaign. In the 
next year it was announced that the soldier should 
receive, besides his pay, "a coat and soldier's hat." 
The coat was of coarse blue cloth, to which breeches 
of red or blue were afterwards added. Along with 
his rations, he was promised a gill of rum each day, 
a privilege of which he was extremely jealous, deeply 
resenting every abridgment of it. He was enlisted 
for the campaign, and could not be required to serve 
above a year at farthest. 


The complement of a regimeot was five hundred, 
divided into companies of fifty; and as the men and 
officers of each were drawn from the same neighbor- 
hood, they generally knew each other. The officers, 
though nominally appointed by the Assembly, were 
for the most part the virtual choice of the soldiers 
themselves, from whom they were often indistinguish- 
able in character and social standing. Hence disci- 
pline was weak. The pay — or, as it was called, the 
wages — of a colonel was twelve pounds sixteen 
shillings, Massachusetts currency, a month; that of a 
captain, five pounds eight shillings, — an advance on 
the pay of the last year; and that of a chaplain, six 
pounds eight shillings.^ Penalties were enacted 
against ^irreligion, immorality, drunkenness, de- 
bauchery, and profaneness." The ordinary punish- 
ments were the wooden horse, irons, or, in bad cases, 

Much difficulty arose from the different rules 
adopted by the various colonies for the regulation of 
their soldiers. Nor was this the only source of 
trouble. Besides its war committee, the Assembly 
of each of the four New England colonies chose 
another committee ^^for clothing, arming, paying, 
victualling, and transporting " its troops. They were 
to go to the scene of operations, hire wagons, oxen, 
and horses, build boats and vessels, and charge them- 
selves with the conveyance of all supplies belonging 
to their respective governments. They were to keep 

1 VoU of General Court, 20 February, 1750. 

400 OSWEGO. [1768. 

in correspondence with the committee of war at home, 
to whom they were responsible ; and the officer com- 
manding the contingent of their colony was required 
to furnish them with guards and escorts. Thus four 
independent committees were engaged in the work of 
transportation at the same time, over the same roads, 
for the same object. Each colony chose to keep the 
control of its property in its own hands. The incon- 
veniences were obvious. **I wish to God," wrote 
Lord Loudon to Winslow, "you could persuade your 
people to go all one way." The committees them- 
selves did not always find their task agreeable. One 
of their number, John Ashley, of Massachusetts, 
writes in dudgeon to Governor Phips: "Sir, I am 
apt to think that things have been misrepresented to 
your Honor, or else I am certain I should not suffer 
in my character, and be styled a damned rascal, and 
ought to be put in irons, etc., when I am certain I 
have exerted myself to the utmost of my ability to 
expedite the business assigned me by the General 
Court." At length, late in the autumn, Loudon 
persuaded the colonies to forego this troublesome sort 
of independence, and turn over their stores to the 
commissary-general, receipts being duly given. * 

^ The above particulars are gathered from the yoluminous pajiert 
in the State House at Boston, Archives, Military, vols. Lzzy., IzxtI. 
These contain the military acts of the General Court, proclamations, 
reports of committees, and other papers relating to military affairs 
in 1766 and 1766. The Letter and Order Books of Winshw, in the 
Library of the Massachusetts Historical Society, have supplied 
much concurrent matter. See also Colonial Records of R. I,, r,, and 
Provincial Papers of N» H,, ri. 

1766.] INDIAN ATTACKS. 401 

From Winslow's headquarters at Half*Moon a 
road led along the banks of the Hudson to Stillwater, 
whence there was water carriage to Saratoga. Here 
stores were again placed in wagons and carried several 
miles to Upper Falls ; thence by boat to Fort Edward ; 
and thence, fourteen miles across country, to Fort 
William Henry at Lake George, where the army was 
to embark for Ticonderoga. Each of the points of 
transit below Fort Edward was guarded by a stockade 
and two or more companies of provincials. They 
were much pestered by Indians, who now and then 
scalped a straggler, and escaped with their usual 
nimbleness. From time to time strong bands of 
Canadians and Indians approached by way of South 
Bay or Wood Creek, and threatened more serious 
mischief. It is surprising that some of the trains 
were not cut off, for the escorts were often reckless 
and disorderly to the last degree. Sometimes the 
invaders showed great audacity. Early in June 
Colonel Fitch at Albany scrawls a hasty note to 
Winslow: "Friday, 11 o'clock: Sir, about half an 
hour since, a party of near fifty French and Indians 
had the impudence to come down to the river oppo- 
site to this city and captivate two men;" and 
Winslow replies with equal quaintness : " We daily 
discover the Indians about us; but not yet have been 
so happy as to obtain any of them." ^ 

^ Vaadreuil, in his despatch of 12 August, giret particulars of 
these raids, with an account of the scalps taken on each occasion. 
He thought the results disappointing. 
VOL. 1.-26 

402 OSWEGO. [1756. 

Colonel Jonathan Baglej commanded at Fort 
William Henry, where gangs of men were busied 
under his eye in building three sloops and making 
several hundred whaleboats to carry t^e army to 
Ticonderoga. The season was advancing fast, and 
Winslow urged him to hasten on the work ; to which 
the humorous Bagley answered: ^^ Shall leave no 
stone unturned; every wheel shall go that rum and 
human flesh can move."? A fortnight after he 
reports : ^^ I must really confess I have almost wore 
the men out, poor dogs. Pray where are the com- 
mittee, or what are they about? " He sent scouts to 
watch the enemy, with results not quite satisfactory. 
"There is a vast deal of news here; every party 
brings abundance, but all different." Again, a little 
later: "I constantly keep out small scouting parties 
to the eastward and westward of the lake, and make 
no discovery but the tracks of smaU parties who aie 
plaguing us constantly; but what vexes me most, we 

can't catch one of the sons of . I have sent 

out skulking parties some distance from the sentries 
in the night, to lie still in the bushes to intercept 
them; but the flies are so pltoty, our people can't 
bear them."' Colonel David Wooster, at Fort 
Edward, was no more fortunate in his attempts to 
take satisfaction on his midnight visitors, and reports 
that he has not thus far been able "to give those 
villains a dressing."^ The English, however, were 

1 BagUy to Winslow, 2 July, 1766. * Ibid., 15 July, 1760. 
* Wooster to Winslow, 2 June, 1766. 


fast learning the art of forest war, and the partisan 
chief, Captain Robert Rogers, began already to be 
famous. On the seventeenth of June he and his 
band lay hidden in the bushes within the outposts of 
Ticonderoga, and made a close survey of t^e fort and 
surrounding camps. ^ His report was not cheering. 
Winslow's so-called army had now grown to nearly 
seven thousand men; and these, it was plain, were 
not too many to drive the French from t^eir 

While Winslow pursued his preparations, tried to 
settle disputes of rank among the colonels of the 
several colonies, and strove to bring order out of the 
little chaos of his command. Sir WUliam Johnson 
was engaged in a work for which he was admirably 
fitted. This was the attaching of the Five Nations 
to the English interest. Along with his patent of 
baronetcy, which reached him about this time, he 
received, direct from the Crown, the commission of 
" Colonel, Agent, and Sole Superintendent of the Six 
Nations and other Northern Tribes."' Henceforth 
he was independent of governors and generals, and 
responsible to the court alone. His task was a diffi- 
cult one. The Five Nations would fain have re- 
mained neutral, and let the European rivals fight it 
out; but, on account of their local position, they 
could not. The exactions and lies of the Albany 

1 Report of Rogers, 19 June, 1766. Much abridged in his published 

* Fox to Johnson, 13 March, 1766. Papers of Sir WUliam Johnson. 

404 OSWEGO. [1766. 

traders, the frauds of land-speculators, the contra- 
dictory action of the diflfei-ent provincial govermnents, 
joined to English weakness and mismanagement iji 
the last war, all conspired to alienate them and to aid 
t^e efforts of the French agents, who cajoled and 
threatened them by turns. But for Johnson these 
intrigues would have prevailed. He had held a 
series of councils with them at Fort Johnson during 
t^e winter, and not only drew from them a promise 
to stand by the English, but persuaded all the con- 
federated tribes, except the Cayugas, to consent that 
the English should build forts near their chief towns, 
under the pretext of protecting them from the 
French. 1 

In June he went to Onondaga, well escorted, for 
the way was dangerous. This capital of the confed- 
eracy was under a cloud. It had just lost one Red 
Head, its chief sachem; and first of all it behooved 
t^e baronet to condole their affliction. The ceremony 
was long, with compliments, lugubrious speeches, 
wampum-belts, the scalp of an enemy to replace the 
departed, and a final glass of rum for each of the 
assembled mourners. The conferences lasted a fort- 
night; and when Johnson took his leave, the tribes 
stood pledged to lift the hatchet for the English.' 

^ Conferencei hettoeen Sir William Johnson and the Indians, Decern 
6er, 1766, to February, 1766, in N. Y. Col. Docs., Tii. 44-74. Accawit 
of Conferences held and Treaties made between Sir William Johnson j 
Bart., and the Indian Nations of North America (London, 1766). 

3 Minutes of Councils at Onondaga, 10 June to 3 July, 1766, in jV. Y 
C6L Docs., Yii. 184-160. 

1766.] INDIAN DEPUTIES. 406 

When he returned to Fort Johnson a fever seized 
him, and he lay helpless for a time ; then rose from 
his sick bed to meet another congregation of Indians. 
These were deputies of the Five Nations, with 
Mohegans from the Hudson, and Delawares and 
Shawanoes from the Susquehanna, whom he had per* 
suaded to visit him in hope that he might induce 
them to cease from murdering the border settlers. 
All their tribesmen were in arms against the English ; 
but he prevailed at last, and they accepted the war^ 
belt at his hands. The Delawares complained that 
their old conquerors, the Five Nations, had forced 
them ^^to wear the petticoat; " that is, to be counted 
not as warriors but as women. Johnson, in presence 
of all the Assembly, now took off the figurative gar- 
ment, and pronounced them henceforth men. A 
grand war-dance followed. A hundred and fifty 
Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Delawares, Shawa- 
noes, and Mohegans stamped, whooped, and yelled 
all night. ^ In spite of Piquet, the two Joncaires, 
and the rest of the French agents, Johnson had 
achieved a success. But would the Indians keep 
their word? It was more than doubtful. While 
some of them treated with him on the Mohawk, 
others treated with Yaudreuil at Montreal.^ A dis- 
play of military vigor on the English side, crowned 

1 Minutes of CounciU at Fort Johnson, 9 July to 12 July, in N. Y, 
Col. Docs., vii. 152-160. 

* Conferences between M. de Vaudreuil and the Fivs Nations, 28 
Juljf to 20 August, in N, Y. Col. Docs., z. 44&-463. 

406 OSWEGO. [1760. 

by some signal victory, would alone make their 
alliance sure. 

It was not the French only who thwarted the 
efforts of Johnson; for while he strove to make 
friends of the Delawares and Shawanoes, Governor 
Morris of Pennsylvania declared war against them, 
and Governor Belcher of New Jersey followed his 
example ; though persuaded at last to hold his hand 
till the baronet had tried the virtue of pacific 

What Shirley longed for was the collecting of a 
body of Five Nation warriors at Oswego to aid him 
in his cherished enterprise against Niagara and 
Frontenac. The warriors had promised him to 
come ; but there was small hope that they would do 
so. Meanwhile he was at Albany pursuing his 
preparations, posting his scanty force in the forts 
newly built on the Mohawk and the Great Carrying 
Place, and sending forward stores and provisions. 
Having no troops to spare for escorts^ he invented a 
plan which, like everjrthing he did, was bitterly 
criticised. He took into pay two thousand boatmen, 
gathered from all parts of the country, including 
many whalemen from the eastern coasts of New Eng- 
land, divided them into companies of fifty, armed 
each with a gun and a hatchet, and placed them 
under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel John 

> Johruon to Lordi of Trade, 28 May, 1766. Ibid., 17 Jii/y, 1766. 
JohnBon to ShirUif, 24 April, 1766. Colonial Records of Pa,. tH. 75, 88^ 


Bradstareet ^ Thus organized, they would, he hoped, 
require no escort. Bradstreet was a New England 
officer who had been a captain in the last war, some* 
what dogged and self-opinioned, but brave, energetic, 
and well fitted for this kind of service. 

In May Vaudreuil sent Coulon de Villiers with 
eleven hundred soldiers, Canadians, and Indians, to 
harass Oswego and cut its communications with 
Albany.* Nevertheless Bradstreet safely conducted 
a convoy of provisions and military stores to the gar- 
rison; and on the third of July set out on his return 
with the empty boats. The party were pushing their 
way up the river in three divisions. The first of 
these, consisting of a hundred boats and three hun-> 
dred men, with Bradstreet at their head, were about 
nine miles from Oswego, when, at three in the after- 
noon, they received a heavy volley from the forest on 
the east bank. It was fired by a part of Villiers' 
command, consisting, by English accounts, of about 
seven hundred men. A considerable number of t^e 
boatmen were killed or disabled, and the others 
made for the shelter of the western shore. Some 
prisoners were taken in the confusion; and if the 
French had been content to stop here, they might 
fairly have claimed a kind of victory: but, eager to 
push their advantage, they tried to cross under cover 
of an island just above. Bradstreet saw the move- 

1 Shirtey to Fox, 7 May, 1766. ShvUjf to AbercrombU,7^ Jtoitp 
1766. Loudon to Fox, 10 August, 1766. 

* IMtai'l de ce qui t*ut jxuU en Cdmuia, Octobre, 176&-^Mtfi, 1766 

408 OSWEGO. [17W. 

ment, and landed on the island with six or eight fol- 
lowers, among whom was young Captain Schuyler, 
afterwards General Schuyler of the Revolution. 
Their fire kept the enemy in check till others joined 
them, to the number of about twenty. These a 
second and a third time beat back the French, who 
now gave over the attempt, and made for another 
ford at some distance above. Bradstreet saw their 
intention ; and collecting two hundred and fifty men, 
was about to advance up the west bank to oppose 
them, when Dr. Kirkland, a surgeon, came to tell 
him that the second division of boats had come up, 
and that the men had landed. Bradstreet ordered 
them to stay where they were, and defend the lower 
crossing: then hastened forward; but when he 
reached the upper ford, the French had passed tlie 
river, and were ensconced in a pine swamp near the 
shore. Here he attacked them; and both parties 
fired at each other from behind trees for an hour, 
with little effect. Bradstreet at length encouraged 
his men to make a rush at the enemy, who were put 
to flight and driven into the river, where many were 
shot or drowned as they tried to cross. Another 
party of the French had meanwhile passed by a ford 
still higher up to support their comrades; but the 
fight was over before they reached the spot, and they 
in their turn were set upon and driven back across 
the stream. Half an hour after. Captain Patten 
arrived from Onondaga with the grenadiers of 
Shirley's regiment; and late in the evening two 


hundred men came from Oswego to reinforce the 
victors. In t^e morning Bradstreet prepared to 
follow the French to their camp, twelve miles dis- 
tant; but was prevented by a heavy rain which lasted 
all day. On the Monday following, he and his men 
reached Albany, bringing two prisoners, eighty 
French muskets, and many knapsacks picked up in 
the woods. He had lost between sixty and seventy 
killed, wounded, and taken. ^ 

This affair was trumpeted through Canada as a 
victory of the French. Their notices of it are dis- 
cordant, though very brief. One of them says that 
ViUiers had four hundred men. Another gives him 
five hundred, and a third eight hundred, against 
fifteen hundred English, of whom they killed eight 
hundred, or an Englishman apiece. A fourth writer 
boasts that six hundred Frenchmen killed nine hun- 
dred English. A fifth contents himself with four 
hundred; but thinks that forty more would have 
been slain if the Indians had not fired too soon. He 
sayB further that there were three hundred boats; 
and presently forgetting himself, adds that five hun- 
dred were taken or destroyed. A sixth announces a 
great capture of stores and provisions, though all the 

1 Letter of J. Choatet Albany, 12 July, 1766, in Ifassachiuettf 
Archives, It. Three Letters Jrom Albany, July, Augutt, 1766, in Doe. 
History of N, Y., i. 482. Review of Military Operations. Shirley <• 
Fox, 26 July, 1766. Abercrombie to Sir Charles Hardy, 11 July, 1766. 
Kiles, in Mass. Hist. ColL, Fourth Series, r. 417. Lossing, Life of 
Schuyler, i. 181 (1860). Mante, 60. Bradatreefs condact on thif 
occasion afterwards gained for him the warm praises of Wolfe. 

410 OSWEGO. [176a 

boats were empty. A seyenih reports that the Cana- 
dians killed about three hundred, and would have 
killed more but for t^e bad quality of their toma- 
hawks. An eighth, with rare modesty, puts the 
English loss at fifty or sixty. That of Villiers is 
given in every proportion of killed or wounded, from 
one up to ten. Thus was Canada roused to martial 
ardor, and taught to look for future triumphs cheaply 

The success of Bradstreet silenced for a time the 
enemies of Shirley. His cares, however, redoubled. 
He was anxious for Oswego, as the two prisoners 
declared that the French meant to attack it, instead 
of waiting to be attacked from it. Nor was the news 
from that quarter reassuring. The engineer, Mac- 
kellar, wrote that the works were incapable of 
defence; and Colonel Mercer, the commandant, 
reported general discontent in the garrison.^ Captain 
John Vicars, an invalid officer of Shirley's regiment, 
arrived at Albany with yet more deplorable accounts. 
He had passed the winter at Oswego, where he 
declared the dearth of food to have been such that 
several councils of war had been held on the question 
of abandoning the place from sheer starvation. More 

^ Nouvelles du Camp €tahli au Portage de Chouaguenf premihre 
Relation. Ibid., S€conde Relation^ 10 JuHlet, 1756. BougainTille, 
Journal, who gives the report ai he heard it. Lettre du R. P, 
Cocquard, S. J., 1766. Vaudreuil au Mimstre, 10 Juiilet, 1756. C/rtv- 
linet de Quebec, ii. 292. N. Y. Col, Doc$., x. 494, 467, 477, 483. Some 
prisoners taken in the first attack were bronght to Montreal, where 
their presence gave countenance to these fabrications. 

* Maekeliar to Shirley, June, 1756. Mercer to Shirky, 2 Jviy, 1756. 


than half his regiment died of hunger or disease; 
and, in his own words, ^^had the poor fellows lived 
t^ey must have eaten one another." Some of the 
men were lodged in barracks, though without beds, 
while many lay all winter in huts on the bare ground. 
Scurvy and dysentery made frightful havoc. "In 
January," says Vicars, "we were informed by the 
Indians that we were to be attacked. The garrison 
was then so weak that the strongest guard we pro- 
posed to mount was a subaltern and twenty men ; but 
we were seldom able to mount more than sixteen or 
eighteen, and half of those were obliged to have 
sticks in their hands to support them. The men 
were so weak that the sentries often fell down on 
their posts, and lay there till the relief came and lifted 
them up." His own company of fifty was reduced to 
ten. The other regiment of the garrison, Pepperrell's, 
or the fifty-first, was quartered at Fort Ontario, on 
the other side of the river; and being better sheltered^ 
suffered less. 

The account given by Vicars of the state of the 
defences was scarcely more flattering. He reported 
that the principal fort had no cannon on the side 
most exposed to attack. Two pieces had been 
mounted on the trading-house in the centre ; but as 
the concussion shook down stones from the wall 
whenever they were fired, they had since been 
removed. The second work, called Fort Ontario, he 
had not seen since it was finished, having been too 
ill to cross the river. Of the third, called NfjMT 

412 OSWEGO. [1766. 

Oswego, or "Fort Rascal/' he testifies thus: "It 
never was finished, and there were no loop-holes in 
the stockades; so that they could not fire out of the 
fort but by opening the gate and firing out of 

Through the spring and early summer Shirley 
was gathering recruits, often of the meanest quality, 
and sending them to Oswego to fill out the two ema- 
ciated regiments. The place must be defended at 
any cost. Its fall would ruin not only the enterprise 
against Niagara and Frontenac, but also that against 
Ticonderoga and Crown Point; since, having nothing 
more to fear on Lake Ontario, the French could unite 
their whole force on Lake Champlain, whether for 
defence or attack. 

Towards the end of June Abercrombie and Webb 
arrived at Albany, bringing a reinforcement of nine 
hundred regulars, consisting of Otway's regiment, or 
a part of it, and a body of Highlanders. Shirley 
resigned his command, and Abercrombie requested 
him to go to New York, wait there till Lord Loudon 
arrived, and lay before him the state of affairs.^ 
Shirley waited till the twenty-third of July, when 
t^e earl at length appeared. He was a rough Scotch 
lord, hot and irascible; and the communications of 
his predecessor, made, no doubt, in a manner some- 

1 Information of Captain John Vicars, of the Fiftieth {Shirley*$) Regi- 
ment, enclosed with a despatch of Lord Loudon. Vicars was a 
reteran British officer who left Oswego with Bradstreet on the third 
of July. Shirley to Loudon, 6 September, 1766. 

s Shirley to Fox, 4 July, 1756. 

1756.] LOUDON. 418 

what pompous and self-satisfied, did not please him. 
"I got from Major-General Shirley," he says, "a 
few papers of very little use; only he insinuated to 
me that I would find eveiything prepared, and have 
nothing to do but to pull laurels ; which I understand 
was his constant conversation before my arrival." ^ 

Loudon sailed up the Hudson in no placid mood. 
On reaching Albany he abandoned the attempt 
against Niagara and Frontenac ; and had resolved to 
turn his whole force against Ticonderoga, when he 
was met by an obstacle that both perplexed and 
angered him. By a royal order lately issued, all 
general and field officers with provincial commissions 
were to take rank only as eldest captains when serv- 
ing in conjunction with regular troops.^ Hence the 
whole provincial army, as Winslow observes, might 
be put under the command of any British major.^ 
The announcement of this regulation naturally caused 
great discontent. The New England officers held a 
meeting, and voted with one voice that in their belief 
its enforcement would break up the provincial army 
and prevent the raising of another. Loudon, hear- 
ing of this, desired Winslow to meet him at Albany 
for a conference on the subject. Thither Winslow 
went with some of his chief officers. The earl asked 
them to dinner, and there was much talk, with no 
satisfactory result; whereupon, somewhat chafed, he 

* Loudon (to Fox?), 10 August, 1766. 

* Order concerning the Rank of Provincial General and Field Offieerg 
in North America. Given at our Court at Ketuington, 12 May, 1766. 
s Winslow to Shirley, 21 August, 1766. 

414 OSWEGO. [1766. 

required Winslow to answer in writing, yes or no, 
whether the provincial officers would obey the com- 
mander-in-chief and act in conjunction with the 
regtilars. Thus forced to choose between acquies- 
cence and flat mutiny, they declared their submission 
to his orders, at the same time asking as a favor that 
they might be allowed to act independently; to 
which Loudon gave for the present an unwilling 
assent. Shirley, who, in spite of his removal from 
command, had the good of the service deeply at 
heart, was much troubled at this affair, and wrote 
strong letters to Winslow in the interest of harmony.^ 
Loudon next proceeded to examine the state of 
the provincial forces, and sent Lieutenant-Colonel 
Burton, of the regulars, to observe and report upon 
it. Winslow by this time had made a forward move- 
ment, and was now at Lake George with nearly half 
his command, while the rest were at Fort Edward 
under Lyman, or in detachments at Saratoga and the 
other small posts below. Burton found Winslow's 
men encamped with their right on what are now the 
grounds of Fort William Henry Hotel, and their 
left extending southward between the mountain in 
their front and the marsh in their rear. ^^ There are 
here," he reports, "about twenty-five hundred men, 
five himdred of them sick, the greatest part of them 
what they call poorly; they bury from five to eight 

^ CorreBpondence of Loudon, Abercrombie,€tnd ShtrUtf, Juhf, August, 
1766. Record of Meeting of Provincial Officers, July, 1756. LOUr and 
Order Books of Winslow. 


daily, and officers in proportion; extremely indolent, 
and dirty to a degree/' Then, in vernacular Eng- 
lish, he describes the infectious condition of the fort, 
which was full of the sick. "Their camp," he pro- 
ceeds, "is nastier than anything I could conceive; 
their , kitchens, graves, and places for slaughter- 
ing cattle all mixed through their encampment; a 
great waste of provisions, the men having just what 
they please; no great command kept up. Colonel 
Gridley governs the general; not in the least alert; 
only one advanced guard of a subaltern and twenty- 
four men. The cannon and stores in great confu- 
sion." Of the camp at Fort Edward he gives a 
better account. "It is much cleaner than at Fort 
William Henry, but not sufficiently so to keep the 
men healthy; a much better command kept up here. 
General Lyman very ready to order out to work and 
to assist the engineers with any number of men they 
require, and keeps a succession of scouting-parties 
out towards Wood Creek and South Bay."^ 

The prejudice of the regular officer may have 
colored the picture, but it is certain that the sanitary 
condition of the provincial camps was extremely bad. 
"A grievous sickness among the troops," writes a 
Massachusetts surgeon at Fort Edward; "we bury 
five or six a day. Not more than two-thirds of our 
army fit for duty. Long encampments are the bane 
of New England men."' Like all raw recruits, they 

1 Bmrton to Loudon, 27 Augtut, 1766. 

s Dr. Thoma$ WiUiami to Colonel Israel Williami, 2S August, 17661 

416 OSWEGO. ri76«. 

did not know how to take care of themselves; and 
their officeis had not the experience, knowledge, or 
habit of command to enforce sanitary rules. The 
same evils were found among the Canadians when 
kept long in one place. Those in the camp of 
Villiers are reported at this time as nearly all sick.^ 

Another penman, veiy different from the military^ 
critic, was also on the spot, noting down every day 
what he saw and felt. This was John Graham, min- 
ister of Suffield, in Connecticut, and now chaplain 
of Lyman's regiment. His spirit, by nature far from 
buoyant, was depressed by bodily ailments, and still 
more by t^e extremely secular character of his 
present surroundings. It appears by his Diary that 
he left home ^^ under great exercise of mind," and 
was detained at Albany for a time, being, as he says, 
taken with an ague-fit and a quinsy; but at length 
he reached the camp at Fort Edward, where deep 
despondency fell upon him. ^^ Labor under great 
discouragements," says the Diary, under date of July 
twenty-eighth; "for find my business but mean. in 
the esteem of many, and think there 's not much for 
a chaplain to do." Again, Tuesday, August seven- 
teenth: "Breakfasted this morning with the General. 
But a graceless meal; never a blessing asked, nor 
thanks given. At the evening sacrifice a more open 
spene of wickedness. The General and head officers, 
with some of the regular officers, in General Lyman's 
tent, within four rods of the place of public prayers. 

1 Boagainvillei JoumaL 


None came to prayers ; but they fixed a table witb« 
out the door of the tent, where a head colonel was 
posted to make punch in the sight of all, they within 
drinking, talking, and laughing during the whole of 
the service, to the disturbance and disaffection of 
most present. This was not only a bare neglect^ 
but an open contempt, of the worship of God by the 
heads of this army. 'Twas but last Sabbath that 
General Lyman spent the time of divine service in 
the afternoon in his tent, drinking in company with 
Mr. Gordon, a regular officer. I have oft heard 
cursing and swearing in his presence by some provin- 
cial field-officers, but never heard a reproof nor so much 
as a check to them come from his mouth, though 
be never uses such language himself. Lord, what 
is manl Truly, the May-game of Fortune! Lord, 
make me know my duty, and what I ought to do! " 

That night his sleep was broken and his soul 
troubled by angry voices under his window, where 
one Colonel Glasier was berating, in unhallowed 
language, the captain of the guard; and here the 
chaplain's Journal abruptly ends.^ 

A brother minister, bearing no likeness to the 
worthy Graham, appeared on the same spot some 
time after. This was Chaplain William Crawford, 
of Worcester, who, having neglected to bring money 
to the war, suffered much annoyance, aggravated by 
what he thought a want of due consideration for his 

1 I owe to my friend George S. Hale, Esq., the opportunity of 
examining the autograph Journal ; it has since been printed in the 
Magazine of American Hittorjf for March, 1882. 
VOL.1.— 27 

418 OSWEGO. [1766 

person and office. His indignation finds vent in a 
letter to his townsman, Timothy Paine, member of 
the General Court: ^^No man can reasonably expect 
that I can with any propriety discharge the duty of a 
chaplain when I have nothing either to eat or drink, 
nor any conveniency to write a line other than to sit 
down upon a stump and put a piece of paper upon 
my knee. As for Mr. Weld [anotlier chaplain]^ 
he is easy and silent whatever treatment he meets 
with, and I suppose they thought to find me the 
same easy and ductile person; but may the wide 
yawning earth devour me first! The state of the 
camp is just such as one at home would guess it to 
be, — nothing but a hurry and confusion of vice and 
wickedness, with a stygian atmosphere to breathe 
in."^ The vice and wickedness of which he com- 
plains appear to have consisted in a frequent infrac- 
tion of the standing order against ^^Curseing and 
Swareing," as well as of that which required attend- 
ance on daily prayers, and enjoined ^Hhe people to 
appear in a decent manner, clean and shaved,^' at 
the t^o Sunday Bennons.' 

At the beginning of August Winslow wrote to the 

* The autograph letter is in Massachusetts Archiyes, Ivi. no. 142. 
The same yolume contains a letter from Colonel Frye, of Massa- 
chusetts, in which he speaks of the forlorn condition in which 
Chaplain Weld reached the camp. Of Chaplain Crawford, he says 
that he came decently clothed, but without bed or blanket, till he, 
Frye, lent them to him, and got Captain Learned to take him into 
hit tent. Chaplains usuaUy had a separate tent, or shared that of 
the colonel. 

* lAtUr and Order Bocks of Win$low. 

1756.J ANXIETY. 419 

committees of the several provinces: ^^It looks as if 
it won't be long before we are fit for a remove," — 
that is, for an advance on Ticonderoga. On the 
twelfth Loudon sent Webb with the forty-fourth 
regiment and some of Bradstreet's boatmen to rein- 
force Oswego*^ They had been ready for a month ; 
but confusion and misunderstanding arising from the 
change of conunand had prevented their departure.^ 
Tet the utmost anxiety had prevailed for the safety 
of that important post, and on the twenty-eighth 
Surgeon Thomas Williams wrote : " Whether Oswego 
is yet ours is uncertain. Would hope it is, as the 
reverse would be such a terrible shock as the country 
never felt, and may be a sad omen of what is coming 
upon poor sinful New England. Indeed, we can't 
expect anything but to be severely chastened till we 
are humbled for our pride and haughtiness."^ 

His foreboding proved true. Webb had scarcely 
reached the Great Carrying Place, when tidings of 
disaster fell upon him like a thunderbolt. The 
French had descended in force upon Oswego, taken 
it with all its garrison; and, as report ran, were 
advancing into the province, six thousand strong. 
Wood Creek had just been cleared, with great labor, 
of the trees that choked it. Webb ordered others to 
be felled and thrown into the stream to stop the 
progress of the enemy; then, with shameful precipi- 

1 Loudon (to Fozt), 19 Augutt, 1756. 

^ Conduct of Major- Crtneral Shirley briefly gtated, ShirUy to Loudon^ 
4 September, 1756. ShiHey to Fox, 16 September, 1756. 

• Tkomae WUlianu to Colonel lerael WilUame, 28 AuguM, 1756. 

420 OSWEGO. [1766L 

tation, he burned the forts of the Carrying Place, 
and retreated down the Mohawk to Gennan Flats. 
Loudon ordered Winslow to think no more of Ticon- 
deroga, but to stay where he was and hold the French 
in check. All was astonishment and dismay at the 
sudden blow. ^' Oswego has changed masters, and I 
think we may justly fear that the whole of our 
country will soon follow, unless a merciful God 
prevent, and awake a sinful people to repentance and 
reformation." Thus wrote Dr. Thomas Williams to his 
wife from the camp at Fort Edward. " Such a shock- 
ing affair has never found a place in English annals," 
wrote the surgeon's young relative, Colonel William 
Williams. "The loss is beyond account; but the dis- 
honor done His Majesty's arms is infinitely greater." ^ 
It remains to see how the catastrophe befell. 

Since Vaudreuil became chief of the colony he had 
nursed the plan of seizing Oswego, yet hesitated to 
attempt it. Montcalm declares that he confirmed the 
governor's wavering purpose ; but Montcalm himself 
had hesitated. In July, however, there came exag- 
gerated reports that the English were moving upon 
Ticonderoga in greatly increased numbers; and both 
Vaudreuil and the general conceived that a feint 
against Oswego would draw off the strength of the 
assailants, and, if promptly and secretly executed, 
might even be turned successfully into a real attack. 
Vaudreuil thereupon recalled Montcalm from Ticon- 

2 CoUmei WUUam WilUanu to Colonel lirael WUlianu, 30 Augun 


deroga.^ Leaving that post in the keeping of Ldvifl 
and three thousand men, he embarked on Lake 
Champlain, rowed day and night, and reached Mont- 
real on the nineteenth. Troops were arriving from 
Quebec, and Indians from the far West. A band of 
Menominies from beyond Lake Michigan, naked, 
painted, plumed, greased, stamping, uttering sharp 
yelps, shaking feathered lances, brandishing toma- 
hawks, danced the war-dance before the governor, to 
the thumping of the Indian drum. Bougainville 
looked on astonished, and thought of the Pyrrhic 
dance of the Greeks. 

Montcalm and he left Montreal on the twenty-first, 
and reached Fort Frontenac in eight days. Rigaud, 
brother of the governor, had gone thither some time 
before, and crossed with seven hundred Canadians to 
the south side of the lake, where Villiers was en- 
camped at Niaour^ Bay, now Sackett's Harbor, with 
such of his detachment as war and disease had spared. 
Rigaud relieved him, and took command of the united 
bands. With their aid the engineer, DescomUes, 
reconnoitred the English forts, and came back with 
the report that success was certain.^ It was but a 
confirmation of what had already been learned from 
deserters and prisoners, who declared that the main 
fort was but a loopholed wall held by six or seven 
hundred men, ill-fed, discontented, and mutinous.' 

1 Vaudreuil au Ministre, 12 AoAt, 1766. Montcalm h ia Femmt, 21 
Juiilet, 1750. 

> Ibid., 4 A(nU, 1756. Vaudreuil h Bourlamaque, ^Juin, 1766. 
* Bougain vUle, /ourno/. 

422 OSWEGO. [1766. 

Others said that they had been driven to desert by 
the want of good food, and that within a year twelve 
hundred men had died of disease at Oswego.^ 

The battalions of La Sarre, Guienne, and B^am, 
with the colony regulars, a body of Canadians, and 
about two hundred and fifty Indians, were destined 
for the enterprise. The whole force was a little 
above three thousand, abundantly supplied with 
artillery. La Sarre and Guienne were already at 
Fort Frontenac. B^rn was at Niagara, whence it 
arrived in a few days, much buffeted by the storms 
of Lake Ontario. On the fourth of August all was 
ready. Montcalm embarked at night with the first 
division, crossed in darkness to Wolf Island, lay 
there hidden all day, and embarking again in the 
evening, joined Rigaud at Niaour^ Bay at seven 
o'clock in the morning of the sixth. The second 
division followed, with provisions, hospital train, and 
eighty artillery boats; and on the eighth all were 
united at the bay. On the ninth Rigaud, covered 
by the universal forest, marched in advance to protect 
the landing of the troops. Montcalm followed with 
the first division; and, coasting the shore in bateaux, 
landed at midnight of the tenth within half a league 
of the first English fort. Four cannon were planted 
in battery upon the strand, and the men bivouacked 
by their boats. So skilful were the assailants and so 
careless the assailed that the English knew nothing 

1 VaudreuU au Ministre, 10 Juillet, 176a RisumS du N<mvelU§ A 
Canada, Septembre, 1766. 


of their danger, till in the morning, a reconnoitring 
canoe discovered the invaders. Two armed vessels 
soon came to cannonade them; but their light guns 
were no match for the heavy artillery of the French, 
and they were forced to keep the offing. 

Descombles, the engineer, went before dawn to 
reconnoitre the fort, with several other officers and a 
party of Indians. While he was thus employed, one 
of these savages, hungry for scalps, took him in the 
gloom for an Englishman, and shot him dead. Cap- 
tain Pouchot, of the battalion of B^am, replaced 
him; and the attack was pushed vigorously. The 
Canadians and Indians, swarming through the forest, 
fired all day on the fort under cover of the trees. 
The second division came up with twenty-two more 
cannon; and at night the first parallel was marked 
out at a hundred and eighty yards from the rampart. 
Stumps were grubbed up, fallen trunks shoved 
aside, and a trench dug, sheltered by fascines, 
gabions, and a strong abattis. 

Fort Ontario, counted as the best of the three forts 
at Oswego, stood on a high plateau at the east or 
right side of the river where it entered the lake. It 
was in the shape of a star, and was formed of trunks 
of trees set upright in the ground, hewn flat on 
two sides, and closely fitted together, — an excellent 
defence against musketry or swivels, but worthless 
against cannon. The garrison, three hundred and 
seventy in all, were the remnant of Pepperrell's regi- 
ment, joined to raw recruits lately sent up to fill the 

424 OSWEGO. (17» 

places of the sick and dead. They had eight BmaU 
cannon and a mortar, with which on the next day, 
Friday, the thirteenth, they kept up a brisk fire till 
towards night; when, after growing more rapid for a 
time, it ceased, and the fort showed no sign of life. 
Not a cannon had yet opened on them from the 
trenches; but it was certain that with the French 
artillery once in action, their wooden rampart would 
be shivered to splinters. Hence it was that Colonel 
Mercer, commandant at Oswego, thinking it better 
to lose the fort than to lose both fort and garrison, 
signalled to them from across the river to abandon 
their position and join him on the other side. Boats 
were sent to bring them off ; and they passed over 
unmolested, after spiking their cannon and firing 
off their ammunition or throwing it into the well. 
The fate of Oswego was now sealed. The prin- 
cipal work, called Old Oswego, or Fort Pepperrell, 
stood at the mouth of the river on the west side, 
nearly opposite Fort Ontario, and less than five hun- 
dred yards distant from it. The trading-house, which 
formed the centre of the place, was built of rough 
stone laid in clay, and the wall which enclosed it was 
of the same materials; both would crumble in an 
instant at the touch of a twelve-pound shot. Towards 
the West and South they had been protected by an 
outer line of earthworks, mounted with cannon, and 
forming an intrenched camp; while the side towards 
Fort Ontario was left wholly exposed, in the rash 
confidence that this work, standing on the opposite 


heights, would guard against attack from that quarter. 
On a hill, a fourth of a mile beyond Old Oswego, 
stood the unfinished stockade called New Oswego, 
Fort George, or, by reason of its worthlessness, Fort 
Rascal. It had served as a cattle-pen before the 
French appeared, but was now occupied by a hundred 
and fifty Jersey provincials. Old Oswego with its 
outwork was held by Shirley's regiment, chiefly 
invalids and raw recruits, to whom were now joined 
the garrison of Fort Ontario and a number of sailors, 
boatmen, and laborers. 

Montcalm lost no time. As soon as darkness set 
in he began a battery at the brink of the height on 
which stood the captured fort. His whole force 
toiled all night, digging, setting gabions, and drag- 
ging up cannon, some of which had been taken from 
Bi*addock. Before daybreak twenty heavy pieces 
had been brought to the spot, and nine were already 
in position. The work had been so rapid that the 
English imagined their enemies to number six thou- 
sand at least. The battery soon opened fire. Grape 
and round shot swept the intrenchment and crashed 
through the rotten masonry. The English, says a 
French officer, "were exposed to their shoe-buckles.'* 
Their artillery was pointed the wrong way, in expec- 
tation of an attack, not from the east, but from the 
west. They now made a shelter of pork-barrels, 
three high and three deep, planted cannon behind 
them, and returned the French fire with some effect. 

EatIj in the morning Montcalm had ordered Rigaud 

426 OSWEGO [17M. 

to croflB Hie river with the Canadians and Indians. 
There was a ford three quarters of a league above the 
forts; ^ and here they passed over unopposed, the 
English not having discovered the movement.^ The 
only danger was from the river. Some of the men 
were forced to swim, others waded to the waist, and 
others to the neck; but they all crossed safely, and 
presently showed themselves at the edge of the woods, 
yelling and firing their guns, too far for much execu- 
tion, but not too far to discourage the garrison. 

The garrison were already disheartened. Colonel 
Mercer, the soul of the defence, had just been cut in 
two by a cannonnshot while directing the gunners. 
Up to this time the defenders had behaved with 
spirit; but despair now seized them, increased by the 
screams and entreaties of the women, of whom there 
were more than a hundred in the place. There was 
a council of officers, and then the white flag was 
raised. Bougainville went to propose terms of capitu- 
lation. ^^The cries, threats, and hideous bowlings 
of our Canadians and Indians," says Vaudreuil, 
"made them quickly decide." "This," observes the 
Reverend Father Claude Godefroy Cocquard, "re- 
minds me of the fall of Jericho before the shouts of 
the Israelites." The English surrendered prisoners 
of war, to the number, according to the governor, of 
sixteen hundred,^ which included the sailors, laborers, 

^ Bougainyille, Journal, * Pouchot, i. 76. 

• Vaudreuil au Mimstre, 20 Aodt, 1756. He elsewhere makei the 
namber somewhat greater. That the garrison, exclutiye of cir- 

1766.] ITS CAPTURE. 427 

and women. The Canadians and Indians broke 
through all restraint, and fell to plundering. There 
was an opening of rum-barrels and a scene of drunk- 
enness, in which some of the prisoners had their 
share; while others tried to escape in the confusion, 
and were tomahawked by the excited savages. Many 
more would have been butchered, but for the efforts 
of Montcalm, who by unstinted promises succeeded 
in appeasing his ferocious allies, whom he dared not 
offend. "It will cost the King," he says, "eight or 
ten thousand livres in presents."^ 

The loss on both sides is variously given. By the 
most trustworthy accounts, that of the English did 
not reach fifty killed, and that of the French was still 
less. In the forts and vessels were found above a 
hundred pieces of artillery, most of them swivels and 
other light guns, with a large quantity of powder, 
shot, and shell. The victors burned the forts and 
the vessels on the stocks, destroyed such provisions 
and stores as they could not carry away, and made 
the place a desert. The priest Piquet, who had 
joined the expedition, planted amid the ruin a tall 

UiAiis, did not exceed at the utmost fourteen hundred, it shown by 
Shirley to Loudon, 5 September, 1766. Loudon had charged Shirley 
with leaving Oswego weakly garrisoned ; and Shirley replies by 
aUeging that the troops there were in number as aboye. It was of 
course his interest to make them appear as numerous as possible. 
In the printed Conduct of Major- General Shirley briefly itated, they 
are put at only ten hundred and fifty. 

^ Several English writers say, however, that fifteen or twenty 
young men were given up to the Indians to be adopted in place of 
warriors lately kiUed. 

428 OSWEGO. [17501 

cross, graven wiUi the words. In hoc signo vincumt; 
and near it was set a pole bearing the arms of France, 
with the inscription, Manibus date lilia plenis. Then 
the army decamped, loaded with prisoners and spoil, 
descended to Montreal, hung the captured flags in the 
churches, and sang Te Deum in honor of their triumph. 
It was the greatest that the French arms had yet 
achieved in America. The defeat of Braddock was 
an Indian victory; this last exploit was the result of 
bold enterprise and skilful tactics. With its laurels 
came its fruits. Hated Oswego had been laid in 
ashes, and the would-be assailants forced to a vain 
and hopeless defence. France had conquered the 
undisputed command of Lake Ontario, and her com* 
munications with the West were safe. A small gar* 
rison at Niagara and another at Frontenac would 
now hold those posts against any effort that the Eng* 
lish could make this year; and the whole French 
force could concentrate at Ticonderoga, repel thft 
threatened attack, and perhaps retort it by seizing 
Albany. If the English, on the other side, had lost 
a great material advantage, they had lost no less in 
honor. The news of the surrender was received with 
indignation in England and in the colonies. Yet 
the behavior of the garrison was not so discreditable 
as it seemed. The position was indefensible, and 
they could have held out at best but a few day^ more. 
They yielded too soon; but unless Webb had come 
to their aid, which was not to be expected, they 
must have yielded at last. 

1766.] RESULTS OF ITS FALL. 429 

The French had scarcely gone, when two English 
scouts, Thomas Harris and James Conner, came with 
a party of Indians to the scene of desolation. The 
ground was strewn with broken casks and bread 
sodden with rain. The remains of burnt bateaux 
and whaleboats were scattered along the shore. The 
great stone trading-house in the old fort was a smok- 
ing ruin ; Fort Rascal was still burning on the neigh- 
boring hill; Fort Ontario was a mass of ashes and 
charred logs, and by it stood two poles on which 
were written words which the visitors did not under- 
stand. They went back to Fort Johnson with their 
story; and Oswego reverted for a time to the bears, 
foxes, and wolves.^ 

^ On the capture of Oswego, the authorities examined have been 
▼ery numerous, and only the best need be named. Livre tTOrdres, 
Campagne de 1756, contains all orders from headquarters. M€moin 
pour servir (f Instruction a M.U Marquis de Montcalm, 21 Juiiiet, 1756, 
sign^ Vaudreuil. Bougainyille, Journal, Vaudreuil au Ministre, 15 Juin, 
1756 (designs against Oswego). Ibid., 13 AoAt, 1755. lUd., 30 AoAt. 
Pouchot, i. 67-81. Relation de la Prise des Forts de Chouaguen. Bigot 
au Ministre, 8 Septembre, 1756. Journal du SiSge de Chouaguen, 
Pr€eis des ilvinemenU, 1756. Montcalm au Ministre, 20 JuiUet, 1756. 
Ibid., 28 Ao(U, 1756. Desandrouins h — ^, mSme date. Montcalm h sa 
Femme, 80 AoHt. Translations of several of the above papers, along 
with others less important, will be found in N. Y. Col. Docs,, x., 
and Doc Hist. N. Y., i. 

State of Facts relating to the Loss of Oswego, in London Magazine 
for 1757, p. 14. Correspondence of Shirley. Correspondence of Loudon, 
Littlehales to Loudon, 80 August, 1756. Hardy to Lords of Trade, 5 
September, 1756. Conduct of Major-General Shirley briefly stated. 
Declaration of some Soldiers of Shirley's Regiment, in N, Y. Col. Docs.^ 
rii. 126. Letter from an officer present, in Boston Evening Post of 
16 May, 1757. The published plans and drawings of Oswego at this 
time are very inexact 


1756, 1767. 


Failusb of Shirlbt'b Plaw. — Caubbb. — LouDOir ahd Shiblkt. 
— Clobb of the CiLMPiLioir. — Ths Webtbrn Border. — Arm- 


RooERB. — The Ranoerb: their Hardihood and Dariko. — 


RooBRB. — A Debperate Bubh-fioht. — Enterpribe of Vau- 


Shirlet's grand scheme for cutting New France in 
twain had come to wreck. There was an element of 
boyishness in him. He made bold plans without 
weighing too closely his means of executing them. 
The year's campaign would in all likelihood have suc- 
ceeded if he could have acted promptly; if he had 
had ready to his hand a well-trained and well-officered 
force, furnished with material of war and means of 
transportation, and prepared to move as soon as the 
streams and lakes of New York were open, while 
those of Canada were still sealed with ice. But 
timely action was out of his power. The army that 
should have moved in April was not ready to move 


till August Of the nine discordant semi-repuUics 
whom he asked to join in the work, three or four 
refused, some of the others were lukewarm, and all 
were slow. Even Massachusetts, usually the fore- 
most, failed to get all her men into the field till the 
season was nearly ended. Having no military estab- 
lishment, the colonies were forced to improvise a 
new army for every campaign. Each of them 
watched its neighbors, or, jealous lest it should do 
more than its just share, waited foi* them to beg^. 
Each popular assembly acted under the eye of a fru* 
gal constituency, who, having little money, were as 
chary of it as their descendants are lavish ; and most 
of them were shaken by internal conflicts, more ab- 
sorbing than the great question on which hung the 
fate of the continent. Only the four New England 
colonies were fully earnest for the war, and one, even 
of these, was ready to use the crisis as a means of 
extorting concessions from its governor in return 
for grants of money and men. When the lagging 
contingents came together at last, under a com- 
mander whom none of them trusted, they were met 
by strategical difficulties which would have perplexed 
older soldiers and an abler general ; for they were 
forced to act on the circumference of a vast semi- 
circle, in a labyrinth of forests, without roads, and 
choked with every kind of obstruction. 

Opposed to them was a trained army, well organ- 
ized and commanded, focused at Montreal, and mov- 
ing for attack or defence on two radiating lines, — * 

432 PARTISAN WAR. [1766. 

one towards Lake Ontario, and the other towards 
Lake Champlain, — supported by a martial peasan- 
try, supplied from France with money and material, 
dependent on no popular vote, having no will but 
that of its chief, and ready on the instant to strike 
to right or left as the need required. It was a 
compact military absolutism confronting a hetero- 
geneous group of industrial democracies, where the 
force of numbers was neutralized by diffusion and 
incoherence. A long and dismal apprenticeship 
waited them before they could hope for success ; ncwr 
could they ever put forth their full strength without 
a radical change of political conditions and an awak- 
ened consciousness of common interests and a com- 
mon cause. It was the sense of powerlessness arising 
from the want of imion that, after the fall of Oswego, 
spread alarm through the northern and middle colonies, 
and drew these desponding words from William 
Livingston, of New Jersey : " The colonies are nearly 
exhausted, and their funds already anticipated by 
expensive unexecuted projects. Jealous are they of 
each other; some ill-constituted, others shaken with 
intestine divisions, and, if I may be allowed the 
expression, parsimonious even to prodigality. Our 
assemblies are diffident of their governors, governors 
despise their assemblies ; and both mutually misrep- 
resent each other to the Court of Great Britain." 
Military measures, he proceeds, demand secrecy and 
despatch; but when so many divided provinces must, 
agree to join in them, secrecy and despatch are 


impossible. In conclusion he exclaims: ^^ Canada 
must be demolished, — Delenda est Carthago^ — or we 
are undone."^ But Loudon was not Scipio, and cis- 
Atlantic Carthage was to stand for some time longer. 
The earl, in search of a scapegoat for the loss of 
Oswego, naturally chose Shirley, attacked him 
savagely, told him that he was of no use in America, 
and ordered him to go home to England without 
delay.^ Shirley, who was then in Boston, answered 
this indecency with dignity and effect.' The chief 
fault was with Loudon himself, whose late arrival in 
America had caused a chani^e of command and of 
pl«. ta ft. eri«« of tt« cL^gn. ShlrUy ^ 
knew the weakness of Oswego; and in early spring 
had sent two engineers to make it defensible, with 
particular instructions to strengthen Fort Ontario.^ 
But they, thinking that the chief danger lay on the 
west and south, turned all their attention thither, 
and neglected Ontario till it was too late. Shirley 
was about to reinforce Oswego with a strong body of 
troops when the arrival of Abercrombie took the con- 
trol out of his hands and caused ruinous delay. He 
cannot, however, be acquitted of mismanagement in 
failing to supply the place with wholesome provisions 

^ Review of Military Operations, 187, 180 (DubUo, 1767). 

> Loudon to Shirley, 6 September, 1756. 

* The correspondence on both sides is before me, copied from 
the originals in the Public Record Office. 

4 " The principal thing for which I sent Mr. Mackellar to Oswego 
was to strengthen Fort Ontario as much as he possibly could.*'— 
ShrUy to Loudon^ 4 SqOember, 1756. 

TOL.L — 28 

484 PARTISAN WAR. [176«. 

in the preceding autumn, before the streams were 
stopped with ice. Hence came the ravages of disease 
and famine which, before spring, reduced the garri- 
son to a hundred and forty effective men. Yet there 
can be no doubt that the change of command was a 
blunder. This is the view of Franklin, who knew 
Shirley well, and thus speaks of him: "He would in 
my opinion, if continued in place, have made a much 
better campaign than that of Loudon, which was 
frivolous, expensive, and disgraceful to our nation 
beyond conception. For though Shirley was not 
bred a soldier, he was sensible and sagacious in him- 
self, and attentive to good advice from others, capable 
of forming judicious plans, and quick and active in 
carrying them into execution.';^ He sailed for 
England in the autumn, disappointed and poor; the 
buU-headed Duke of Cumberland had been deeply 
prejudiced against him, and it was only after long 
waiting that this strenuous champion of British 
interests was rewarded in his old age with the 
petty government of the Bahamas. 

Loudon had now about ten thousand men at his 
command, though not all fit for duty. They were 
posted from Albany to Lake George. The earl him- 
self was at Fort Edward, while about three thousand 
of the provincials still lay, imder Winslow, at the 
lake. Montcalm faced them at Ticonderoga, with 
five thousand three hundred regulars and Canadians, 
in a position where they could defy three times their 

1 Works of FrankUn, I 220. 


number.^ **The sons of Belial are too strong for 
me," jocosely wrote Winslow;* and lie set himself to 
intrenching his camp; tlien had the forest cut down 
for ike space of a mile from the lake to the moun- 
tains, so that the trees, lying in what he calls a 
^'promiscuous manner," formed an almost impene- 
trable abatis. An escaped prisoner told him that the 
French were coming to visit him with fourteen thou- 
sand men ; ' but Montcalm thought no more of stir- 
ring than Loudon himself; and each stood watching 
the other, with the lake between them, till the season 

Meanwhile the western borders were still ravaged 
by the tomahawk. New York, New Jersey, Penn- 
sylvania, Maryland, and Virginia all writhed under 
the infliction. Each had made a chain of block- 
houses and wooden forts to cover its frontier, and 
manned them with disorderly bands, lawless, and 
almost beybnd control.* The case was at the worst 
in Pennsylvania, where the tedious quarrelling of 
governor and Assembly, joined to the doggedly pacific 
attitude of the Quakers, made vigorous defence 
impossible. Rewards were offered for prisoners and 
scalps, so bountiful that Hie hunting of men would 

1 "NouB Bommes tant k Carillon qu'aux postes ayaoc^s 6,800 
hommes." — Bougainyille, Journal, 

* Wifulow to Loudon, 29 September^ 1766. 

' Examination of Serjeant James Archibald, 

^ In the Public Becord Office, America and West Indies, Ixzxii., 
is a manuscript map showing the positions of such of these posts as 
were north of Virginia. Thej are thirty-five in number, from the 
head of James River to a point west of Esopus, on the Hudson. 

486 PARTISAN WAR. [1766. 

have been a profitable vocation, but for the extreme 
wariness and agility of the game.^ Some of the forts 
were well-built stockades ; others were almost worth- 
less ; but the enemy rarely molested even the feeblest 
of them, preferring to ravage the lonely and unpro- 
tected farms. There were two or three exceptions. 
A Virginian fort was attacked by a war-party under 
an officer named Douville, who was killed, and his 
followers were put to flight.^ The assailants were 
more fortunate at a small stockade called Fort Gran- 
ville, on the Juniata. A large body of French and 
Indians attacked it in August while most of the gar- 
rison were absent protecting the farmers at their 
harvest; they set it on fire, and, in spite of a most 
gallant resistance by the young lieutenant left in 
command, took it, and killed all but one of the 

What sort of resistance the Pennsylvanian borderers 
would have made under political circumstances less 
adverse may be inferred from an exploit of Colonel 
John Armstrong, a settler of Cumberland. After 
the loss of Fort Granville the governor of the province 
sent him with three hundred men to attack the 
Delaware town of Kittanning, a populous nest of 
savages on the Alleghany, between the two French 
posts of Duquesne and Venango. Here most of the 

1 Colonial Record* of Pa., vii. 76. 

* Wcuhington to Morris, — April, 1766. 

* Colonial Records of Pa,, yu. 232, 242 ; Pennsylvania ArektveM, 
a 744. 


war-parties were fitted out, and the place was full of 
stores and munitions furnished by the French. Here, 
too, lived the redoubted chief called Captain Jacobs, 
the terror of the English border. Armstrong set ou( 
from Fort Shirley, the farthest outpost, on the last 
of August, and, a week after, was witliin six miles 
of the Indian town. By rapid marching and rare 
good luck, his party had escaped discovery. It was 
ten o'clock at night, with a bright moon. The 
guides were perplexed, and knew neither the exact 
position of the place nor the paths that led to it. 
The adventurers threaded the forest in single file, 
over hills and through hollows, bewildered and 
anxious, stopping to watch and listen. At length 
they heard in the distance the beating of an Indian 
drum and the whooping of warriors in the war-dance. 
Guided by the sounds, they cautiously moved for- 
ward, till those in the front, scrambling down a rocky 
hill, found themselves on the banks of the Alleghany, 
about a hundred rods below Kittanning. The moon 
was near setting; but they could dimly see the town 
beyond a great intervening field of com. ** At that 
moment," says Armstrong, ^an Indian whistled in a 
very singular manner, about thirty perches from our 
front, in the foot of the cornfield." He thought they 
were discovered; but one Baker, a soldier well versed 
in Indian ways, told him that it was only some village 
gallant calling to a young squaw. The party then 
crouched in the bushes, and kept silent. The moon 
sank behind the woods, and fires soon glimmered 

488 PARTISAN WAR. [176flL 

through the field, kindled to drive off mosquitoes by 
some of the Indians who, as the night was warm, 
had come out to sleep in the open air. The eastern 
sky began to redden with the approach of day. Many 
of the party, spent with a rough march of thirty 
miles, had fallen asleep. They were now cautiously 
roused; and Armstrong ordered nearly half of them 
to make their way along the ridge of a bushy hill that 
overlooked the town, till they came opposite to it, in 
order to place it between two fires. Twenty minutes 
were allowed them for the movement; but they lost 
their way in the dusk, and reached their station too 
late. When the time had expired, Armstrong gave 
the signal to those left with him, who dashed into 
the cornfield, shooting down the astonished savages 
or driving them into the village, where they turned 
and made desperate fight. 

It was a cluster of thirty log-cabins, the principal 
being that of the chief, Jacobs, which was loopholed 
for musketry, and became the centre of resistance. 
The fight was hot and stubborn. Armstrong ordered 
the town to be set on fire, which was done, though 
not without loss ; for the Delawares at this time were 
commonly armed with rifles, and used them well. 
Armstrong himself was hit in the shoulder. As the 
flames rose and the smoke grew thick, a warrior in 
one of the houses sang his death-song, and a squaw 
in the same house was heard to cry and scream. 
Rough voices silenced her, and then the inmates 
burst out, but were instantly killed. The fire caught 


the house of Jacobs, who, trying to escape through 
an opening in the roof, was shot dead. Bands of 
Indians were gathering beyond the river, firing from 
the other bank, and even crossing to help their com- 
rades ; but the assailants held to their work till the 
whole place was destroyed. ** During the burning of 
the houses," says Armstrong, **we were agreeably 
entertained by the quick succession of charged guns, 
gradually firing off as reached by the fire ; but much 
more so with the vast explosion of sundry bags and 
large kegs of gunpowder, wherewith almost every 
house abounded; the prisoners afterwards informing 
us that the Indians had frequently said they had a 
sufficient stock of ammunition for ten years' war 
with the English." 

These prisoners were eleven men, women, and 
children, captured in the border settlements, and now 
delivered by their countrymen. The day was far 
spent when the party withdrew, carrying their 
wounded on Indian horses, and moving perforce with 
extreme slowness, though expecting an attack eveiy 
moment. None took place; and they reached the 
settlements at last, having bought their success with 
the loss of seventeen killed and thirteen wounded.^ 
A medal was given to each officer, not by the 

1 Report of Armstrong to Governor Denny, 14 September, 1766, in 
CclonkU Becorde of Pa., yii. 257, — a modest, yet rery minute 
account. A List of the Names of die Persons killed, wounded, and 
missing in the late Expedition against the Kittanning, Hasard, Pennsfil* 
wamia Register, i. 366. 

440 PARTISAN WAR. [176«. 

Quaker-ridden Assembly, but by the city council of 

The report of this affair made by Dumas, com- 
mandant at Fort Duquesne, is worth noting. He 
says that Attiqu^, the French name of Kittanning, 
was attacked by "le Grdn^ral Wachinton," with three 
or four hundred men on horseback; that the Indians 
gave way; but that five or six Frenchmen who were 
in the town held the English in check till the fugi- 
tives rallied ; that Washington and his men then took 
to flight, and would have been pursued but for the 
loss of some barrels of gunpowder which chanced to 
explode during the action. Dumas adds that several 
large parties are now on the track of the enemy, and 
he hopes will cut them to pieces. He then asks for 
a supply of provisions and merchandise to replace 
those which the Indians of Attiqu^ had lost by a 
fire.^ Like other officers of the day, he would admit 
nothing but successes in the department under his 

Vaudreuil wrote singular despatches at this time 
to the minister at Versailles. He takes credit to 
himself for the number of war-parties that his officers 
kept always at work, and fills page after page with 
details of the coups they had struck; how one 
brought in two English scalps, another three, another 
one, and another seven. He owns that they com- 
mitted frightful cruelties, mutilating and sometimes 

^ Dumas h Vaudreuif, 9 Septemhrff 1756, cited in Bigot au 
6 Octobre, 1766, and in Bougainville, Journal, 


burning their prisoners; but he expresses no regreti 
and probably felt none, since he declares that the 
object of this murderous warfare was to punish the 
English till they longed for peace. ^ 

The waters and mountains oi Lake George, and 
not the western borders, were the chief centre of 
partisan war. Ticonderoga was a hornet's nest, 
pouring out swarms of savages to infest the highways 
and byways of the wilderness. The English at Fort 
William Henry, having few Indians, could not retort 
in kind; but they kept their scouts and rangers in 
active movement. What they most coveted was 
prisoners, as sources of information. One Kennedy, 
a lieutenant of provincials, with five followers, white 
and red, made a march of rare audacity, passed all 
the French posts, took a scalp and two prisoners on 
the Richelieu, and burned a magazine of provisions 
between Montreal and St. John. The party were 
near famishing on the way back; and Kennedy was 
brought into Fort William Henry in a state of tem- 
porary insanity from starvation.^ Other provincial 
officers, Peabody, Hazen, Waterbury, and Miller, 
won a certain distinction in this adventurous service, 
though few were so conspicuous as the blunt and 
sturdy Israel Putnam. Winslow writes in October 
that he has just returned from the best '^ scout " yet 
made, and that, being a man of strict truth, he may 

1 DSpechei de Vaudreutl, 1756. 

' Minute of Lieuttnant Kennedif*$ Scout. Winslow to Loudom, 2t 
StpUmber, 1756. 

442 PARTISAN WAR. [1766. 

be entirely trusted.^ Putnam had gone with six 
followers down Lake George in a whaleboat to a 
point on the east side, opposite the present village of 
Hague, hid the boat, crossed northeasterly to Lake 
Champlain, three miles from tlie French fort, climbed 
the mountain that overlooks it, and made a complete 
reconnoissance ; then approached it, chased three 
Frenchmen, who escaped within the lines, climbed 
the mountain again, and moving westward along the 
ridge, made a minute survey of every outpost between 
the fort and Lake Greorge.^ These adventures were 
not always fortunate. On Hie nineteenth of Septem- 
ber Captain Hodges and fifty men were ambushed a 
few miles from Fort William Henry by thrice their 
number of Canadians and Indians, and only six 
escaped. Thus the record stands in the Letter Book 
of Winslow.' By visiting the encampments of 
Ticonderoga, one may learn how the blow was 

After much persuasion, much feasting, and much 
consumption of tobacco and brandy, four hundred 
Indians, Christians from the missions and heathen 
from the far West, were persuaded to go on a grand 
war-party with the Canadians. Of these last there 
were a hundred, — a wild crew, bedecked and be- 
daubed like their Indian companions. Peridre, an 

1 Wituhw to Loudon, 16 October, 1766. 

* Report of a Scout to Ticonderoga, October, 1766, siffned Israel 

' Compare Massachusetts Archiyes, Izxvi. 81. 

1756.] A WAR-PARTY. 448 

officer of colony regulars, had nominal command of 
the whole; and among the leaders of the Canadians 
was the famous bush-fighter, Marin. Bougainville 
was also of the party. In the evening of the six- 
teenth they all embarked in canoes at the French 
advance-post commanded by Contrecceur, near the 
present steamboat-landing, passed in the gloom under 
the bare steeps of Rogers Rock, paddled a few hours, 
landed on the west shore, and sent scouts to recon- 
noitre. These came back with their reports on the 
next day, and an Indian crier called the chiefs to 
council. Bougainville describes them as they stalked 
gravely to the place of meeting, wrapped in colored 
blankets, with lances in their hands. The accom- 
plished young aide-de-camp studied his strange 
companions with an interest not unmixed with dis- 
gust. ^'Of all caprice," he says, ^^ Indian caprice is 
the most capricious." They were insolent to the 
French, made rules for them which they did not 
observe themselves, and compelled the whole party 
to move when and whither they pleased. Hiding the 
canoes, and lying close in the forest by day, they all 
held their nocturnal course .southward, by the lofty 
heights of Black Mountain, and among the islets of 
the Narrows, till the eighteenth. That night the 
Indian scouts reported that they had seen the fires of 
an encampment on the west shore; on which the 
whole party advanced to the attack, an hour before 
dawn, filing silently under the dark arches of the 
forest, the Indians nearly naked, and streaked with 

444 PARTISAN WAR. [1765. 

their war-paint of vermilion and soot. When they 
reached the spot, they found only the smouldering 
fires of a deserted bivouac. Then there was a con- 
sultation; ending, after much dispute, with the 
choice by the Indians of a hundred and tea of their 
most active warriors to attempt some stroke in the 
neighborhood of the English fort. Marin joined 
them with thirty Canadians, and they set out on 
their errand; while the rest encamped to await the 
result. At night the adventurers returned, raising 
the death-cry and firing their guns; somewhat de- 
pressed by losses they had suffered, but boasting that 
they had surprised fifty-three English, and killed or 
taken all but one. It was a modest and perhaps an 
involuntary exaggemtion. " The very recital of the 
cruelties they committed on the battlefield is hor^ 
rible," writes Bougainville. "The ferocity and inso- 
lence of these black-souled barbarians makes one 
shudder. It is an abominable kind of war. The air 
one breathes is contagious of insensibility and hard- 
ness." ^ This was but one of many such parties sent 
out from Ticonderoga this year. 

Early in September a band of New England rangers 
came to Winslow's camp, with three prisoners taken 
within the lines of Ticonderoga. Their captain was 
Robert Rogers, of New Hampshire, — a strong, well- 
knit figure, in dress and appearance more woodsman 
than soldier, with a clear, bold eye, and features that 
would have been good but for the ungainly propor* 

1 BougainyUle, Journal. 

1756.] ROBERT ROGERS. 446 

tions of the nose.^ He had passed his boyhood in the 
rough surroundings of a frontier village. Growing 
to manhood, he engaged in some occupation which, 
he says, led him to frequent joumeyings in the wil- 
derness between the French and English settlements, 
and gave him a good knowledge of both.^ It taught 
him also to speak a little French. He does not dis- 
close the nature of this mysterious employment; but 
there can be little doubt that it was a smuggling 
trade with Canada. His character leaves much to be 
desired. He had been charged with forgery, or com- 
plicity in it, seems to have had no scruple in matters 
of business, and after the war was accused of treason- 
able dealings with the French and Spaniards in the 
West.^ He was ambitious and violent, yet able in 
more ways than one, by no means uneducated, and 
so skilled in woodcraft, so energetic and resolute, 
that his services were invaluable. In recounting his 
own adventures, his style is direct, simple, without 
boasting, and to all appearance without exaggeration. 
During the past summer he had raised a band of 
men, chiefly New Hampshire borderers, and made a. 
series of daring excursions which gave him a promi- 
nent place in this hardy by-play of war. In the 
spring of the present year he raised another company, 

^ A large engraved portrait of him, nearly at full length, ia 
before me, printed at London in 1776. 

* Rogers, Joumtdi, Introduction (1766). 

* Provincial Papers of New Hampshire, yi. 964. Corre s po n dence of 
Gage, 1766. N, Y. Col. Docs,, yii. 990. Caleb Stark, Memoir and 
Cerrtspcndence of John Stark, 386, 

446 PARTISAN WAR. [175a 

and was commissioned as its captain, with his brother 
Richard as his fitst lieutenant, and the intrepid John 
Stark as his second. In July still another company 
was formed, and Richard Rogers was promoted to 
command it. Before the following spring there were 
seven such; and more were afterwards added, form- 
ing a battalion dispersed on various service, but all 
imder the orders of Robert Rogers, with the rank of 
major. ^ These rangers wore a sort of woodland uni- 
form, which varied in the different companies, and 
were armed with smooth-bore guns, loaded with 
buckshot, bullets, or sometimes both. 

The best of them were commonly employed on 
Lake George ; and nothing can surpass the adven- 
turous hardihood of their lives. Summer and winter, 
day and night, were alike to them. Embarked in 
whaleboats or birch canoes, they glided under the 
silent moon or in the languid glare of a breathless 
August day, when islands floated in dreamy haze, 
and the hot air was thick with odors of the pine ; or 
in the bright October, when the jay screamed from 
the woods, squirrels gathered their winter hoard, and 
congregated blackbirds chattered farewell to their 
summer haunts; when gay mountains basked in 
light, maples dropped leaves of rustling gold, sumachs 
glowed like rubies under the dark green of the 
unchanging spruce, and mossed rocks with all their 
painted plumage lay double in the watery mirror: 

^ Rogers, JoumaU, Report of the Adjutant' General of New Hcunp- 
ikire (1866), U. 168, 160. 

1766.] THE EANGER8. 447 

that festal evening of the year, when jocund Nature 
disrobes heiself, to wake again refreshed in the joy 
of her undying spring. Or, in the tomb-like silence 
of the winter forest, with breath frozen on his beard, 
the ranger strode on snow-shoes over the spotless 
drifts; and, like Diirer's knight, a ghastly death 
stalked ever at his side. There were those among 
them for whom this stem life had a fascination 
that made all other existence tame. 

Rogers and his men had been in active movement 
since midwinter. In January they skated down 
Lake George, passed Ticonderoga, hid themselves by 
the forest road between that post and Crown Point, 
intercepted two sledges loaded with provisions, and 
carried the drivers to Fort William Henry. In 
February they climbed a hill near Crown Point and 
made a plan of the works ; then lay in ambush by the 
road from the fort to the neighboring village, captured 
a prisoner, burned houses and bams, killed fifty 
cattle, and returned without loss. At the end of the 
month they went again to Crown Point, burned more 
houses and bams, and reconnoitred Ticonderoga on 
the way back. Such excursions were repeated 
throughout the spring and summer. The reconnois- 
sance of Ticonderoga and the catching of prisoners 
there for the sake of information were always capital 
objects. The valley, four miles in extent, that lay 
between the foot of Lake George and the French fort, 
was at this time guarded by four distinct outposts or 
fortified camps. Watched as it was at all points, and 

448 PARTISAN WAR. [176«. 

ranged incessantly by Indians in the employ of 
France, Rogers and his men knew every yard of the 
ground. On a morning in May he lay in ambush 
with eleven followers on a path between the fort and 
the nearest camp. A large body of soldiers passed ; 
the rangers counted a hundred and eighteen, and lay 
close in their hiding-place. Soon after came a party 
of twenty-two. They fired on them, killed six, 
captured one, and escaped with him to Fort William 
Henry. In October Rogers was passing with twenty 
men in two whaleboats through the seeming solitude 
of the Narrows when a voice called to them out of 
the woods It was that of Captain Shepherd, of the 
New Hampshire regiment, who had been captured 
two months before, and had lately made his escape. 
He told them that the French had the fullest infor- 
mation of the numbers and movements of the Eng- 
lish; that letters often reached them from within the 
English lines; and that Lydius, a Dutch trader at 
Albany, was their principal correspondent.^ Arriv- 
ing at Ticonderoga, Rogers cautiously approached 
the fort, till, about noon, he saw a sentinel on the 
road leading thence to the woods. Followed by five 
of his men, he walked directly towards him. The 
man challenged, and Rogers answered in French. 
Perplexed for a moment^ the soldier suffered him to 

1 Litter and Order Books of Winslow, ** One Lydiaai . . . whom 
we luspect for a French spj ; he lives better than anybody, without 
any visible means, and his daughters have had often presents from 
BCr. VaudreuiL" — Loudtm (to Fox f ), 19 Au^utt, 1766. 


approach; till, seeing his mistake, he called out in 
amazement^ "G^t ites vousV^ "Rogers," was the 
answer; and the sentinel was seized, led in hot haste 
to the boats, and carried to the English fort, where 
he gave important information. 

An exploit of Rogers towards midsummer greatly 
perplexed the French. He embarked at the end of 
June with fifty men in five whaleboats, made light 
and strong, expressly for this service, rowed about 
ten miles down Lake George, landed on the east side, 
carried the boats six miles over a gorge of the moun- 
tains, launched them again in South Bay, and rowed 
down the narrow prolongation of Lake Champlain 
under cover of darkness. At dawn they were within 
six miles of Ticonderoga. They landed, hid their 
boats, and lay close all day. Embarking again in 
the evening, they rowed with mufiBied oars imder the 
shadow of the eastern shore, and passed so close to 
the French fort that they heard the voices of the 
sentinels calling the watchword. In the morning 
they had left it five miles behind. Again they hid 
in the woods; and from their lurking-place saw 
bateaux passing, some northward, and some south- 
ward, along the narrow lake. Crown Point was ten 
or twelve miles farther on. They tried to pass it 
after nightfall, but the sky was too clear and the stais 
too bright; and as they lay hidden the next day, 
nearly a hundred boats passed before them on the 
way to Ticonderoga. Some other boats which 
appeared about noon landed near them, and they 

VOL. I. — 29 

460 PARTISAN WAR. [176a 

watched the soldiers at dinner, within a musket-fihot 
of their lurking-place. The next night was more 
favorable. They embarked at nine in the evening, 
passed Crown Point unseen, and hid themselves as 
before, ten miles below. It was the seventh of July. 
Thirty boats and a schooner passed them, returning 
towards Canada. On the next night they rowed 
fifteen miles farther, and then sent men to recon- 
noitre, who reported a schooner at anchor about a 
mile off. They were preparing to board her, when 
two sloops appeared, coming up the lake at but a 
short distance from the land. They gave them a 
volley, and called on them to surrender; but the 
crews put off in boats and made for the opposite 
shore. They followed and seized them. Out of 
twelve men their fire had killed three and wounded 
two, one of whom, sajrs Rogers in his report, ^* could 
not march, therefore we put an end to him, to pre- 
vent discovery."^ They sank the vessels, which 
were laden with wine, brandy, and flour, hid their 
boats on the west shore, and returned on foot with 
their prisoners.^ 

Some weeks after, Rogers returned to the place 
where he had left the boats, embarked in them, 

1 Beport of Rogers to Sir William Johnson, July, 1766. This inci- 
dent ii luppresied in the printed Journals, which merely ulj that 
the man " loon died." 

« Rogers, Journals, 20. Shirley to Cox, 26 July, 1766. "Thia 
afternoon Capt. Rogers came down with 4 scalps and 8 prisoners 
which he took on Lake Champlain, between 20 and 90 miles 
beyond Crown l^oiat." ^ Surgeon Williams to his Wife, 16 July, 


reconnoitred the lake nearly to St. John, hid them 
again eight miles north of Crown Point, took three 
prisoners near that post, and carried them to Fort 
William Henry. In the next month the French 
found several English boats in a small cove north of 
Crown Point. Bougainville propounds five different 
hypotheses to account for their being there; and 
exploring parties were sent out in the vain attempt 
to find some water passage by which they could 
have reached the spot without passing under the 
guns of two French forts.i 

The French, on their side, still kept their war- 
parties in motion, and Vaudreuil faithfully chronicled 
in his despatches every English scalp they brought 
in. He believed in Indians, and sent them to Ticon- 
deroga in numbers that were sometimes embarrass- 
ing. Even Pottawattamies from Lake Michigan were 
prowling about Winslow's camp and silently killing 
his sentinels with arrows, while their ^^ medicine 
men " remained at Ticonderoga practising sorcery 
and divination to aid the warriors or learn how it 
fared with them. Bougainville writes in his Journal 
on the fifteenth of October: "Yesterday the old 
Pottawattamies who have stayed here * made medi- 
cine ' to get news of their brethren. The lodge 
trembled, the sorcerer sweated drops of blood, and 
the devil came at last and told him that the warriors 
would come back with scalps and prisoners. A 
sorcerer in the medicine lodge is exactly like the 

^ Bougainville, Joumo/. 

452 PARTISAN WAR. [1766. 

Pythoness on the tripod or the witch Canidia invok- 
ing the shades." The diviner was not wholly at 
fault. Three days after, the warriors came back 
with a prisoner.^ 

Till November, the hostile forces continued to 
watch each other from the opposite ends of Lake 
George. Loudon repeated his orders to Winslow to 
keep the defensive, and wrote sarcastically to the 
colonial minister: "I think I shall be able to prevent 
the provincials doing anything very rash, without 
their having it in their power to talk in the language 
of this country that they could have taken all Canada 
if they had not been prevented by the King's ser- 
vants." Winslow tried to console himself for the 
failure of the campaign, and wrote in his odd English 
to Shirley: "Am sorry that this year's performance 
has not succeeded as was intended; have only to say 
I pushed things to the utmost of my power to have 
been sooner in motion, which was the only thing that 
should have carried us to Crown Point; and though 
I am sensible that we are doing our duty in acting on 
the defensive, yet it makes no eclate [sic]^ and answers 
to little purpose in the eyes of my constituents.'* 

On the first of the month the French began to 
move off towards Canada, and before many days 
Ticonderoga was left in the keeping of five or six 
companies.^ Winslow's men followed their example. 

^ This kind of divination was practised bj Algonquin tribet 
from the earliest times. See "Pioneers of France in the New 
World," 361. 

* Bougainville, Journal. Malartic, Jowrnal. 

1766,1757.] QUAKTERING TROOPS 453 

Major Eyre, with four hundred regulars, took pos- 
session of Fort William Henry, and the provincials 
marched for home, their ranks thinned by camp 
diseases and small-pox.^ In Canada the regulars 
were quartered on the inhabitants, who took the 
infliction as a matter of course. In the English 
provinces the question was not so simple. Most of 
the British troops were assigned to Philadelphia, 
New York, and Boston ; and Loudon demanded free 
quarters for them, according to usage then prevailing 
in England during war. Nor was the demand in 
itself imreasonable, seeing that the troops were sent 
over to fight the battles of the colonies. In Phila^ 
delphia lodgings were given them in the public- 
houses, which, however, could not hold them all. A 
long dispute followed between the governor, who 
seconded Loudon's demand, and the Assembly, dur- 
ing which about half the soldiers lay on straw in 
outhouses and sheds till near midwinter, many sick- 
ening, and some dying from exposure. Loudon 
grew furious, and threatened, if shelter were not 
provided, to send Webb with another regiment and 
billet the whole on the inhabitants; on which the 
Assembly yielded, and quarters were found. ^ 
In New York the privates were quartered in bar- 

^ Letter and Order Books of Winslow, Witulow to Halifax, SO 
December, 1756. 

* Loudon to Denny, 28 October, 1756. Colonial Records of Pa., vil 
858-380. Loudon to Pitt, 10 March, 1757. Notice of Colonel Bouquet^ 
in Pennsylvania Magazine, iii. 124. The Conduct of a NoUe Com 
wuuukr in America impartially reviewed (1758). 

454 PARTISAN WAR. [1756,1757. 

racks, but the officers were left to find lodging for 
themselves. Loudon demanded that provision should 
be made for them also. The city council hesitated, 
afraid of incensing the people if they complied. 
Cruger, the mayor, came to remonstrate. ^^God 
damn my blood 1" replied the earl; "if you do not 
billet my officers upon free quarters this day, I Ul 
order here all the troops in North America, and 
billet them mjrself upon this city. " Being no respecter 
of persons, at least in the provinces, he began with 
Oliver Delancey, brother of the late acting governor, 
and sent six soldiers to lodge under his roof. 
Delancey swore at the unwelcome guests, on which 
Loudon sent him six more. A subscription was then 
raised among the citizens, and the required quarters 
were provided.^ In Boston there was for the present 
less trouble. The troops were lodged in the bar- 
racks of Castle William, and furnished with blankets, 
cooking utensils, and other necessaries.^ 

Major Eyre and his soldiers, in their wilderness 
exile by the borders of Lake George, whiled the winter 
away with few other excitements than the evening 
howl of wolves from the frozen mountains, or some 
nocturnal savage shooting at a sentinel from behind 
a stump on the moonlit fields of snow. A livelier 
incident at last broke the monotony of their lives. 

1 Smith, Hist, of N. Y., Part II. 242. Willtam Carry to Johnwn, 
15 January, 1757, in Stone, Life of Sir Wiliiam Johnton, ii. 24, nofe. 
Loudon to Hardy, 21 November, 1766. 

* Maasachusetti Archiyes^ Ixxvi. 153 

1757.] SCOUTING PARTY. 455 

In the middle of January Rogers came with his 
rangers from Fort Edward, bound on a scouting party 
towards Crown Point. They spent two days at Fort 
William Henry in making snow-shoes and other 
preparation, and set out on the seventeenth. Cap- 
tain Spikeman was second in command, with Lieu- 
tenants Stark and Kennedy, several other subalterns, 
and two gentlemen volunteers enamoured of adven- 
ture. They marched down the frozen lake and 
encamped at the Narrows. Some of them, unac- 
customed to snow-shoes, had become unfit for travel, 
and were sent back, thus reducing the number to 
seventy-four. In the morning they marched again, 
by icicled rocks and icebound waterfalls, mountains 
gray with naked woods and fir-trees bowed down 
with snow. On the nineteenth they reached the 
west shore, about four miles south of Rogers Rock, 
marched west of north eight miles, and bivouacked 
among the mountains. On the next morning they 
changed their course, marched east of north all day, 
passed Ticonderoga undiscovered, and stopped at 
night some five miles beyond it. The weather was 
changing, and rain was coming on. They scraped 
away the snow with their snow-shoes, piled it in a 
bank around them, made beds of spruce-boughs, built 
fires, and lay down to sleep, while the sentinels kept 
watch in the outer gloom. In the morning there was 
a drizzling rain, and the softened snow stuck to their 
snow-shoes. They marched eastward three miles 
through the dripping forest^ till they reached the 

456 PARTISAN WAR. [1757. 

banks of Lake Champlain, near what is now called 
Five Mile Point, and presently saw a sledge, drawn 
by horses, moving on the ice from Ticonderoga 
towards Crown Point. Rogers sent Stark along the 
shore to the left to head it off, while he with another 
party, covered by the woods, moved in the opposite 
direction to stop its retreat. He soon saw eight or 
ten more sledges following the first, and sent a mes- 
senger to prevent Stark from showing himself too 
soon; but Stark was already on the ice. All the 
sledges turned back in hot haste. The rangers ran 
in pursuit and captured three of them, with seven 
men and six horses, while the rest escaped to Ticon- 
deroga. The prisoners, being separately examined, 
told an ominous tale. There were three hundred and 
fifty regulars at Ticonderoga; two hundred Cana- 
dians and forty-five Indians had lately arrived there, 
and more Indians were expected that evening, — all 
destined to waylay the communications between the 
English forts, and all prepared to march at a moment's 
notice. The rangers were now in great peril. The 
fugitives would give warning of their presence, and 
the French and Indians, in overwhelming force, 
would no doubt cut off their retreat. 

Rogers at once ordered his men to return to their 
last night's encampment, rekindle the fires, and dry 
their guns, which were wet by the rain of the morning. 
Then they marched southward in single file through 
the snow-encumbered forest, Rogers and Kennedy in 
the front, Spikeman in the centre, and Stark in the 


rear. In this order they moved on over broken and 
difficult ground till two in the afternoon, when they 
came upon a valley, or hollow, scarcely a musket-shot 
wide, which ran across their line of march, and, like 
all the rest of the country, was buried in thick 
woods. The front of the line had descended the 
first hill, and was mounting that on the farther side, 
when the foremost men heard a low clicking soimd, 
like the cocking of a great number of guns; and in 
an instant a furious volley blazed out of the bushes 
on the ridge above them. Kennedy was killed out- 
right, as also was Gardner, one of the volunteers. 
Rogers was grazed in the head by a bullet, and othere 
were disabled or hurt. The rest returned the fire, 
while a swarm of French and Indians rushed upon 
them from the ridge and the slopes on either hand, 
killing several more, Spikeman among the rest, and 
capturing others. The rangers fell back across the 
hollow and regained the hill they had just descended. 
S^rk with the rear, who were at the top when the 
fray began, now kept the assailants in check by a 
brisk fire till their comrades joined them. Then the 
whole party, spreading themselves among the trees 
that covered the declivity, stubbornly held their 
ground and beat back the French in repeated attempts 
to dislodge them. As the assailants were more than 
two to one, what Rogers had most to dread was a 
movement to outflank him and get into his rear. 
This they tried twice, and were twice repulsed by a 
party held in reserve for the purpose. The fight 

468 PARTISAN WAR. [1767. 

lasted several hours, during which there was much 
talk between the combatants. The French called 
out that it was a pity so many brave men should be 
lost, that large reinforcements were expected every 
moment, and that the rangers would then be cut to 
pieces without mercy; whereas if they surrendered 
at once they should be treated with the utmost kind- 
ness. They called to Rogers by name, and expressed 
great esteem for him. Neither threats nor promises 
had any effect, and the firing went on till darkness 
stopped it. Towards evening Rogers was shot 
through the wrist; and one of the men, John Shute, 
used to tell in his old age how he saw another ranger 
trying to bind the captain's wound with the ribbon 
of his own queue. 

As Ticonderoga was but three miles off, it was 
destruction to stay where they were; and they with- 
drew under cover of night, reduced to forty-eight 
effective and six wounded men. Fourteen had been 
killed, and six captured. Those that were left 
reached Lake George in the morning, and Stark, 
with two followers, pushed on in advance to bring a 
sledge for the wounded. The rest made their way 
to the Narrows, where they encamped, and presently 
descried a small dark object on the ice far behind 
them. It proved to be one of their own number, 
Sergeant Joshua Martin, who had received a severe 
wound in the fight, and was left for dead; but by 
desperate efforts had followed on their tracks, and 
was now brought to camp in a state of exhaustion. 


He recovered, and lived to an advanced age. The 
sledge sent by Stark came in the morning, and the 
whole party soon reached the fort. Abercrombie, on 
hearing of the affair, sent them a letter of thanks 
for gallant conduct. 

Rogers reckons the number of his assailants at 
about two hundred and fifty in all. Vaudreuil says 
that they consisted of eighty-nine regulars and 
ninety Canadians and Indians. With his usual 
boastful exaggeration, he declares that forty English 
were left dead on the field, and that only three 
reached Fort William Henry alive. He sa3rs that 
the fight was extremely hot and obstinate, and admits 
that the French lost thirty-seven killed and wounded. 
Rogers makes the number much greater. That it 
was considerable is certain, as Lusignan, com- 
mandant at Ticonderoga, wrote immediately for 
reinforcements. ^ 

1 Rogers, Journals, 38-44. Caleb Stark, Memoir and Correspond- 
ence of John Stark, 18, 412. Return of Killed, Wounded, and Missing 
in the Action near Ticonderoga, January, 1757 ; aU tlie names are here 
given. James Abercrombie, aide-de-camp to his uncle. General 
Abercrombie, wrote to Rogers from Albany: "You cannot imagine 
how all ranks of people here are pleased with your conduct and 
your men's behavior." 

The accounts of the French writers differ from each other, but 
agree in placing the English force at from seventy to eighty, and 
their own much higher. The principal report is that of Vaudreuil 
au Ministre, 19 AvrU, 1767 (his second letter of this date). Bougain- 
ville, Montcalm, Malartic, and Montreuil all speak of the affair, 
placing the English loss much higher than is shown by the returns. 
The story, repeated in most of the French narratives, that only 
three of the rangers reached Fort William Henry, seems to have 
arisen from the fact that Stark with two men went thither ip 

460 PARTISAN WAR. p767 

The effects of his wound and an attack of small- 
pox kept Rogers quiet for a time. Meanwhile the 
winter dragged slowly away, and the ice of Lake 
George, cracking with change of temperature, uttered 
its sti*ange cry of agony, heralding that dismal season 
when winter begins to relax ite gripe, but spring still 
holds aloof; when the sap stirs in the sugar-maples, 
but the buds refuse to swell, and even the catkins of 
the willows will not burst their brown integuments ; 
when the forest is patched with snow, though on its 
sunny slopes one hears in the stillness the whisper of 
trickling waters that ooze from the half-thawed soU 
and saturated beds of f aUen leaves ; when clouds hang 
low on the darkened mountains, and cold mists 
entangle themselves in the tops of the pines ; now a 
dull rain, now a sharp morning frost, and now a 
storm of snow powdering the waste, and wrapping 
it again in the pall of winter. 

In this cheerless season, on St. Patrick's Day, the 
seventeenth of March, the Irish soldiers who formed 
a part of the garrison of Fort William Henry were 
paying homage to their patron saint in libations of 
heretic rum, the product of New England stills ; and 
it is said that John Stark's rangers forgot theological 
differences in their zeal to share the festivity. The 
story adds that they were restrained by their com- 
mander, and that their enforced sobriety proved the 
saving of the fort. This may be doubted; for with- 

advance of the rest. As regards the antecedents of the combat, the 
French and English accounts agree. 


out counting the English soldiers of the garrison who 
had no special call to be drunk that day, the fort was 
in no danger till twenty-four hours after, when the 
revellers had had time to rally from their pious 
carouse. Whether rangers or British soldiers, it is 
certain that watchmen were on the alert during the 
night between the eighteenth and nineteenth, and 
that towards one in the morning they heard a sound 
of axes far down the lake, followed by the faint glow 
of a distant fire. The inference was plain, that an 
enemy was there, and that the necessity of warming 
himself had overcome his caution. Then all was still 
for some two hours, when, listening in the pitchy 
darkness, the watchers heard the footsteps of a great 
body of men approaching on the ice, which at the 
time was bare of snow. The garrison were at their 
posts, and all the cannon on the side towards the lake 
vomited grape and round-shot in the direction of the 
sound, which thereafter was heard no more. 

Those who made it were a detachment, called by 
Vaudreuil an army, sent by him to seize the English 
fort. Shirley had planned a similar stroke against 
Ticonderoga a year before ; but the provincial levies 
had come in so slowly, and the ice had broken up so 
soon, that the scheme was abandoned. Vaudreuil 
was more fortunate. The whole force, regulars, 
Canadians, and Indians, was ready to his hand. No 
pains were spared in equipping them. Overcoats, 
blankets, bearskins to sleep on, tarpaulins to sleep 
under, spare moccasons, spare mittens, kettles, axes^ 

462 PARTISAN WAR. [1757. 

needles, awls, flint and steel, and many miscellaneous 
articles were provided, to be dragged by the men on 
light Indian sledges, along with provisions for twelve 
days. The cost of the expedition is set at a million 
francs, answering to more than as many dollars of the 
present time. To the disgust of the officers from 
France, the governor named his brother Rigaud for 
the chief command; and before the end of February 
the whole party was on its march along the ice of 
Lake Champlain. They rested nearly a week at 
Ticonderoga, where no less than three hundred short 
scaling-ladders, so constructed that two or more could 
be joined in one, had been made for them ; and here, 
too, they received a reinforcement, which raised their 
number to sixteen himdred. Then, marching three 
days along Lake George, they neared the fort on the 
evening of the eighteenth, and prepared for a general 
assault before daybreak. 

The garrison, including rangers, consisted of three 
hundred and forty-six effective men.i The fort was 
not strong, and a resolute assault by numbers so 
superior must, it seems, have overpowered the 
defenders; but the Canadians and Indians who com- 
posed most of the attacking force were not suited for 
such work; and, disappointed in his hope of a sur- 
prise, Rigaud withdrew them at daybreak, after tiy- 

^ Strength of the GarrtMon of Fort William Henry when the Enemy 
came before it, enclosed in the letter of Major Eyre to Loudon, 26 
March, Vlbl. There were also one hundred and twent7-eighl 

1767.] RIGAUiyS ENTERPRISE. 468 

ing in vain to bum the buildings outside. A few 
hours after, the whole body reappeared, filing off to 
surround the fort, on which they kept up a brisk but 
harmless fire of musketry. In the night they were 
heard again on the ice, approaching as if for an 
assault; and the cannon, firing towards the sound, 
again drove them back. There was silence for a 
while, till tongues of flame lighted up the gloom, and 
two sloops, ice-bound in the lake, and a large number 
of bateaux on the shore were seen to be on fire. A 
party sallied to save them ; but it was too late. In 
the morning they were all consumed, and the enemy 
had yanished. 

It was Sunday, the twentieth. Everything was 
quiet till noon, when the French filed out of the 
woods and marched across the ice in procession, 
ostentatiously carrying their scaling-ladders, and 
showing themselves to the best effect. They stopped 
at a safe distance, fronting towards the fort, and 
several of them advanced, waving a red flag. An 
officer with a few men went to meet them, and 
returned bringing Le Mercier, chief of the Canadian 
artillery, who, being led blindfold into the fort, 
announced himself as bearer of a message from 
Rigaud. He was conducted to the room of Major 
Eyre, where all the British officers were assembled; 
and, after mutual compliments, he invited them to 
give up the place peaceably, promising the most 
favorable terms, and threatening a general assault and 
massacre in case of refusal. Eyre said that he should 

464 PARTISAN WAR. [1757. 

defend himself to the last; and the envoy, again 
blindfolded, was led back to whence he came. 

The whole French force now advanced as if to 
storm the works, and the garrison prepared to receive 
them. Nothing came of it but a fusillade, to which 
the British made no reply. At night the French 
were heard advancing again, and each man nerved 
himself for the crisis. The real attack, however, 
was not against the fort, but against the buildings 
outside, which consisted of several storehouses, a 
hospital, a saw-mill, and the huts of the rang^ers, 
besides a sloop on the stocks and piles of planks and 
cord-wood. Covered by the night, the assailants 
crept up with fagots of resinous sticks, placed them 
against the farther side of the buildings, kindled 
them, and escaped before the flame rose; while the 
garrison, straining their eare in the thick darkness, 
fired wherever they heard a sound. Before morning 
all around them was in a blaze, and they had much 
ado to save the fort barracks from the shower of 
burning cinders. At ten o'clock the fires had sub- 
sided, and a thick fall of snow began, filling the air 
with a restless chaos of large moist flakes. This 
lasted all day and all the next night, till the ground 
and the ice were covered to a depth of three feet and 
more. The French lay close in their camps till a 
little before dawn on Tuesday morning, when twenty 
volunteers from the regulars made a bold attempt to 
bum the sloop on the stocks, with several storehouses 
and other structures, and several hundred scows and 

1767.] RIGAUD'S RETREAT. 465 

whaleboats which had thus far escaped. They were 
only in part successful; but they fired the sloop and 
some buildings near it, and stood far out on the ice 
watching the flaming vessel, a superb bonfire amid 
the wilderness of snow. The spectacle cost the 
volunteers a fourth of their number killed and 

On Wednesday morning the sun rose bright on a 
scene of wintry splendor, and the frozen lake was 
dotted with Rigaud's retreating followers toiling 
towards Canada on snow-shoes. Before they reached 
it many of them were Uinded for a while by the 
insufferable glare, and their comrades led them home- 
wards by the hand.^ 

1 Eyre to Loudon, 24 JforcA, 1767. Ibid^ 26 March, enclosed in 
London's despatch of 26 April, 1767. Mettage of Rigaud to Major 
Eyre, 20 March, 1767. Letter from Fort William Betury, 26 March, 
1767, in BottoM Gazette, No, 106, and Boeton Evening Poet, iVo. 1,12S. 
Abitract of Lettere from Albany, in Botton News Letter, No, 2,860. 
Caleb Stark, Memoir and Correspondence of John Stea-k, 22, a cnriont 
mixture of truth and error. Relation de la Campagne sur U Lae SL 
Sacrement pendant VHiver^ 1767. Bongainrille, Journal, Malartic, 
Journal, Montcalm au Ministre, 24 Avril, 1767. Montreuil au Ministre, 
28 AvrU, 1767. Montcalm h sa Mkre, 1 AvrU, 1767. MAnoires Mr k 
Canada, 1740-1760. 

The French loss in killed and wonnded is set bj Montcalm at 
eleren. That of the English was seven, slightly wounded, chiefly 
in sorties. Thej took three prisoners. Stark was touched by a 
bullet, for the only time in his adventurous Ufa. 

vol.. L— 80 



Tbx Seat of Wa^. — Social Life at Moktbbal. — Famiuaji 


nros wim thb Gotbbnob.— Chabagtbb of Vaudbbuil: hu 


MoKTOALM. — The Opbnino Campaion. — Doubts aitd Sut- 
PBMSB. — Loudon's Flan: his Chabactbb. — Fatal Dblats. 
-^Abobtiyb Attempt against Louisboubo. — Disastbb to 
thb Bbitibh Flbbt. 

Spring came at last, and the Dutch burghers of 
Albany heard, faint from the far height, the clamor 
of the wild fowl, streaming in long files northwaxd to 
their summer home. As the aerial travellers winged 
their way, the seat of war lay spread beneath them 
like a map. First the blue Hudson, slumbering 
among its forests, with the forts along its banks, 
Half-Moon, Stillwater, Saratoga, and the geometric 
lines and earthen mounds of Fort Edward. Then a 
broad belt of dingy evergreen; and beyond, released 
from wintry fetters, the glistening breast of Lake 
George, with Fort William Henry at its side, amid 
chaned ruins and a desolation of prostrate forests. 

1766, 1767.] MONTREAL. 461 

Hence the lake stretched northward, like some broad 
river, trenched between mountain ranges still leafless 
and graj. Then they looked down on Ticonderoga, 
with the flag of the Bourbons, like a flickering white 
speck, waving on its ramparts; and next on Crown 
Point with its tower of stone. Lake Champlain now 
spread before them, widening as they flew: on the 
left, the mountain wilderness of the Adirondacks, 
like a stormy sea congealed ; on the right, the long 
procession of the Green Mountains; and, far beyond, 
on the dim verge of the eastern sky, the White 
Mountains throned in savage solitude. They passed 
over the bastioned square of Fort St. John, Fort 
Ghambly guarding the rapids of the Richelieu, and 
the broad belt of the St* Lawrence, with Montreal 
seated on its bank. Here we leave them, to build 
their nests and hatch their brood among the fens 
of the lonely North. 

Montreal, the military heart of Canada, was in the 
past winter its social centre also, where were gathered 
conspicuous representatives both of Old France and 
of New; not men only, but women. It was a spark- 
ling fragment of the reign of Louis XV. dropped 
into the American wilderness. Montcalm was here 
with his staff and his chief officers, now pondering 
schemes of war, and now turning in thought to his 
beloved Ch&teau of Candiac, his mother, children, 
and wife, to whom he sent letters with every oppor- 
tunity. To his wife he writes : ** Think of me affec- 
tionately ; give love to my girls. I hope next year I 

468 MONTCALM AND VAUDREUIL. [175«, 1757- 

may be with you all. I love you tenderly, dearest.'^ 
He says that he has sent her a packet of marten- 
skins for a muff, ^^and another time I shall send some 
to our daughter; but I should like better to bring 
them myself." Of this eldest daughter he writes in 
reply to a letter of domestic news from Madame de 
Montcalm: ^The new gown with blonde trimmings 
must be becoming, for she is pretty." Again, 
^^ There is not an hour in the day when I do not 
think of you, my mother, and my children." He had 
the tastes of a coimtry gentleman, and was eager to 
know all that was passing on his estate. Before 
leaving home he had. set up a mill to grind olives for 
oil, and was well pleased to hear of its prosperity. 
^It seems to be a good thing, which pleases me very 
much. Bougainville and I talk a great deal about 
the oil -mill." Some time after, when the King sent 
him the coveted decoration of the cordon rawge^ he 
informed Madame de Montcalm of the honor done 
him, and added, ^^But I think I am better pleased 
with what you tell me of the success of my oil-mill." 

To his mother he writes of his absorbing occupa- 
tions, and sajrs, ^^Tou can tell my dearest that I 
have no time to occupy myself with the ladies, even 
if I wished to." Nevertheless he now and then found 
leisure for some little solace in his banishment; for 
he writes to Bourlamaque, whom he had left at 
Quebec, after a visit which he had himself made 
there early in the winter: ^^I am glad you sometimes 
9peak of me to the three ladies in the Rue du Parloir; 

1766, 1767.] FESTIVITIEa 469 

and I am flattered by their remembrance, especially 
by that of one of them, in whom I find at certain 
moments too much wit and too many charms for my 
tranquillity." These ladies of the Rue du Parloir 
are several times mentioned in his familiar corre- 
spondence with Bourlamaque. 

His station obliged him to maintain a high standard 
of living, to his great financial detriment, for Cana- 
dian prices were inordinate. ^^ I must live creditably, 
and so I do; sixteen persons at table every day. 
Once a fortnight I dine with the govemor-gene«d 
and with the Chevalier de L^vis, who lives well too. 
He has given three grand balls. As for me, up to 
Lent I gave, besides dinners, great suppers, with 
ladies, three times a week. They lasted till two in 
the morning ; and then there was dancing, to which 
company came iminvited, but sure of a welcome from 
those who had been at supper. It is very expensive, 
not very amusing, and often tedious. At Quebec, 
where we spent a month, I gave receptions or parties, 
often at the Intendant's house. I like my gallant 
Chevalier de L^vis very much. Bourlamaque was a 
good choice ; he is steady and cool, with good parts. 
Bougainville has talent, a warm head, and warm 
heart; he will ripen in time. Write to Madame 
Cornier that I like her husband ; he is perfectly well, 
and as impatient for peace as I am. Love to my 
daughters, and all affection and respect to my 
mother. I live only in the hope of joining you aU 
again. Nevertheless, Montreal is as good a place as 

470 MONTCALM AND VAUDEEUIL. [1766, 1767k 

Alais even in time of peace, and better now, because 
the Oovemment is here ; for the Marquis de Vaudreuil, 
like me, spent only a month at Quebec. As for 
Quebec, it is as good as the best cities of France, 
except ten or so. Clear sky, bright sun; neither 
spring nor autumn, only summer and winter. July, 
August, and September, hot as in Languedoc: winter 
insupportable; one must keep always indoors. The 
ladies spiritudUs^ galanUs^ dhotes. OamUing at 
Quebec, dancing and conversation at Montreal. My 
friends the Indians, who are often unbearable, and 
whom I treat with perfect tranquillity and patience, 
are fond of me. If I were not a sort of general, 
though very subordinate to the governor, I could 
gossip about the plans of the campaign, which it is 
likely will begin on the tenth or fifteenth of May. I 
worked at the plan of the last affair [JBigaud^s 
expedition to Fort William Henry]^ which might have 
turned out better, though good as it was. I wanted 
only eight hundred men. If I had had my way. 
Monsieur de L^vis or Monsieur de Bougainville 
would have had charge of it. However, the thing 
was all right, and in good hands. The Governor, 
who is extremely civil to me, gave it to lus brother; 
he thought him more used to winter marches. 
Adieu, my heart; I adore and love you!" 

To meet his manifold social needs, he sends to his 
wife orders for prunes, olives, anchovies, muscat 
wine, capers, sausages, confectionery, cloth for 
liveries, and many other such items; also for scent- 

1766, 1767.] FESTIVITIEa 471 

bags of two kinds, and perfumed pomatum foi 
presents; closing in postscript with an injunction 
not to forget a dozen pint-bottles of English lavender. 
Some months after, he writes to Madame de Saint- 
V^ran: "I have got everything that was sent me 
from Montpellier except the sausages. I have lost a 
third of what was sent from Bordeaux. The English 
captured it on board the ship called *" La Superbe; ' 
and I have reason to fear that everything sent from 
Paris is lost on board ' La Libert^.* I am running 
into debt here. Pshaw! I must live. I do not 
worry myself. Best love to you, my mother." 

When Rigaud was about to march with his detach* 
ment against Fort William Henry, Montcalm went 
over to La Prairie to see them. "I reviewed them," 
he writes to Bourlamaque, ^^and gave the officers a 
dinner, which, if anybody else had given it, I should 
have said was a grand affair. There were two tables, 
for thirty-six persons in all. On Wednesday there 
was an Assembly at Madame Varin's; on Friday the 
Chevalier de L^vis gave a ball. He invited sixty- 
five ladies, and got only thirty, with a great crowd 
of men. Rooms well lighted, excellent order, excel- 
lent service, plenty of refreshments of every sort all 
through the night; and the company stayed till seven 
in the morning. As for me, I went to bed early. I 
had had that day eight ladies at a supper given to 
Madame Varin. To-morrow I shall have half-a- 
dozen at another supper, given to I don't know 
whom, but incline to think it will be La Roche 


Beauoour. The gallant Chevalier 10 to gire ua still 
another ball. '' 

Lent put a check on these festivitiefl. ^To* 
morrow," he tells Bourlamaque, ^*I shall throw 
myself into devotion with might and main (it corps 
perdu). It will be easier for me to detach myself 
from the world and turn heavenward here at Mont- 
real than it would be at Quebec." And, some time 
after, ^^Bougainville spent Monday delightfully at 
Isle Ste. H^ldne, and Tuesday devoutly with the 
Sulpitian Fathers at the Mountain. I was there 
myself at four o'clock, and did them the civility to 
sup in their refectory at a quarter before six." 

In May there was a complete revival of social 
pleasures, and Montcalm wrote to Bourlamaque: 
** Madame de Beaubassin's supper was very gay. 
There were toasts to the Rue du Parloir and to the 
General. To-day I must give a dinner to Madame 
de Saint-Ours, which will be a little more serious. 
P^an is gone to establish himself at La Chine, and 
will come back with La Barolon, who goes thither 
with a husband of hers, bound to the Ohio with 
Villejoin and Louvigny. The Chevalier de L^vis 
amuses himself very much here. He and his friends 
spend all their time with Madame de Lenisse." 

Under these gayeties and gallantries there were 
bitter heart-burnings. Montcalm hints at some of 
them in a letter to Bourlamaque, written at the time 
of the expedition to Fort William Heniy, which, in 
the words of Montcalm, who would have preferred 

1756, 1757.] A BREACH REPAIREDl 478 

another commander, the goyemor had ordered to 
march ''under the banners of brother Rigaud.** 
"After he got my letter on Sunday evening," says 
the disappointed general, ^^ Monsieur de Vaudreuil 
sent me his secretary with the instructions he had 
given his brother,** which he had hitherto withheld. 
" This gave rise after dinner to a long conversation 
with him; and I hope for the good of the service that 
his future conduct will prove the truth of his words. 
I spoke to him with frankness and firmness of the 
necessity I was under of commimicating to him my 
reflections ; but I did not name any of the persons 
who, to gain his good graces, busy themselves with 
destroying his confidence in me. I told him that he 
would alwajs find me disposed to aid in measures 
tending to our success, even should his views, which 
always ought to prevail, be different from mine ; biit 
that I dared flatter myself that he would hencefor- 
ward communicate his plans to me sooner; for, though 
his knowledge of the country gave greater weight to 
his opinions, he might rest satisfied that I should 
second him in methods and details. This etplanation 
passed off becomingly enough, and ended witJi a 
proposal to dine on a moose's nose [an esHmed morsel] 
the day after to-morrow. I bum your letters. Mon- 
sieur, and I beg you to do the same with mine, after 
making a note of anything you may want to keep/' 
But Bourlamaque kept all the letters, and bound 
them in a volume, which still exists.^ 

1 The preceding extract! are from LettrtM lU Monicalm k Matktmi 
de Saint'V&ant §a Mhn, M h Madame de Montcalmi ta Femm4, 176<| 

474 MONTCALM AND VAUDREUIL. [1766, 1767 

Montcalm was not at this time fully aware of the 
feeling of Vandreuil towards him. The touchy 
egotism of the governor and his jealous attachment 
to the colony led him to claim for himself and the 
Canadians the merit of every achievement and to 
deny it to the French troops and their general. 
Before the capture of Oswego was known, he wrote 
to the naval minister that Montcalm would never 
have dared attack that place if he had not encouraged 
him and answered his timid objections.^ ^^I am con- 
fident that I shall reduce it,** he adds; ^^my expedi- 
tion is sure to succeed if Monsieur de Montcalm 
follows the directions I have given him.'* When 
the good news came he immediately wrote again, 
declaring that the victory was due to his brother 
Rigaud and the Canadians, who, he says, had been 
ill-used by the general, and not allowed either to 
enter the fort or share the plunder, any more than the 
Indians, who were so angry at the treatment they 
had met that he had great difficulty in appeasing 
them. He hints that the success was generally 
ascribed to him. ^ There has been a great deal of 
talk here; but I will not do myself the honor of 
repeating it to you, especially as it relates to myself. 
I know how to do violence to my self-love. The 
measures I took assured our victory, in spite of oppo- 
sition. If I had been less vigilant and firm, Oswego 

1767 {PapUn de FamilU) ; and Lettres de Montcalm h Bcurlamaqm, 
1757. See Appendix E. 

> VaudreuU an Minietre de ia Marine, 18 Atmt, 1766. 

1750, 1767.] EGOTISM OF VAUDREUIL. 476 

would still be in the hands of the English. I cannot 
sufficiently congratulate myself on the zeal which my 
brother and the Canadians and Indians showed on 
this occasion; for without them my orders would 
have been given in vain. The hopes of His Britannic 
Majesty have vanished, and will hardly revive again; 
for I shall take care to crush them in the bud/*^ 

The pronouns " I " and " my " recur with monot* 
onous frequency in his correspondence. ^I have 
laid waste all the British provinces.** ^^By promptly 
uniting my forces at Carillon, I have kept General 
Loudon in check, though he had at his disposal an 
army of about twenty thousand men; "* and so with- 
out end, in all varieties of repetition. It is no less 
characteristic that he here assigns to his enemies 
double their actual force. 

He has the faintest of praise for the troops from 
France. ^^They are generally good, but thus far 
they have not absolutely distinguished themselves. 
I do justice to the firmness they showed at Oswego, 
but it was only the colony troops, Canadians, and 
Indians who attacked the forts. Our artillery was 
directed by the Chevalier Lie Mercier and M. Frdmont 
[colony officers], and was served by our colony troops 
and our militia. The officers from France are more 
inclined to defence than attack. Far from spending 
the least thing here, they lay by their pay. They 
saved the money allowed them for refreshments, and 

^ Vaudreml au Ministre de la Marine, 1 Septembre, 1766L 
• Ibid., 6 NavMmbn, 1760. 

476 MONTCALM AND VAUDREUIL. [1756,1757. 

had it in pocket at the end of the campaign. They 
get a profiti too, out of their proyisions, by having 
certificates made under borrowed names, so that they 
can draw cash for them on their return. It is the 
same with the soldiers, who also sell their provisions 
to the King and get paid for them. In conjunction 
with M. Bigoti I labor to remedy all these abuses; 
and the rules we have established have saved the 
King a considerable expense. M. de Montcalm has 
complained very much of these rules.** The intend* 
ant Bigot, who here appears as a reformer, was the 
centre of a monstrous system of public fraud and 
robbery; while the charges ag^nst the French officers 
are unsupported. Vaudreuil, who never loses an 
opportunity of disparaging them, proceeds thus: ~ 

"The troops from France are not on very gooc 
terms with our Canadians. What can the Soldierj 
think of them when they see their officers threaten 
them with sticks or swords? The Canadians are 
obliged to cany these gentry on their shoulders, 
through the cold water, over rocks that cut theii 
feet; and if they make a false step they are abused. 
Can anything be harder? Finally, Monsieur de 
Montcalm is so quick-tempered that he goes to the 
length of striking the Canadians. How can he 
restrain his officers when he cannot restrain himself? 
Could any example be more contagious? This is 
the way our Canadians are treated. They deserve 
something better.'* He then enlarges on their zeal, 
hardihood, and bravery, and adds that nothing but 

176«, 1757.] THEIR RIVALBT, 477 

their blind submissioa to his commands pieventB 
many of them from showing resentment at the usage 
they had to endure. The Indians, he goes on to say, 
are not so gentle and yielding; and but for his 
brother Rigaud and himself, might have gone off in 
a rage. ^^ After the campaign of Oswego they did 
not hesitate to tell me that they would go wherever 
I sent tliem, provided I did not put them under tike 
orders of M. de Montcalm. They told me positively 
that they could not bear his quick temper. I shall 
always maintain the most perfect union and under^ 
standing with M. le Marquis de Montcalm, but I 
shall be forced to take measures which will assure to 
our Canadians and Indians treatment such as their 
zeal and services merit. "^ 

To the subject of his complaints Vaudreuil used a 
different language; for Montcalm says, after men- 
tioning that he had had occasion to punish some of 
the Canadians at Oswego : ^* I must do Monsieur de 
Vaudreuil the justice to say that he approved my 
proceedings." He treated the general with the 
blandest politeness. ^ He is a good-natured man,'* 
continues Montcalm, ^ mild, with no character of his 
own, surrounded by people who tiy to destroy all his 
confidence in the general of the troops from France. 
I am praised excessively, in order to make him 
jealous, excite his Canadian prejudices, and prevent 

^ Vaudreuil au Minittre dela Marine, 28 Oetobn, 1756. The abore 
extracts are somewhat condensed in the translation. See the letter 
in Dnssienz, 279. 

478 MONTCALM AND VAUDREUIL. [1768, 1757. 

him from dealing with me frankly, or adopting my 
views when he can help it. " * He elsewhere com- 
plains that Vaudrenil gave to both him and L^vis 
orders couched in such equivocal terms that he could 
throw the blame on them in case of reverse.' Mont- 
calm liked the militia no better than the governor 
liked the regulars. ^I have used them with good 
effect, though not in places exposed to the enemy *8 
fire. They know neither discipline nor subordina- 
tion, and think themselves in all respects the first 
nation on earth." He is sure, however, that they 
like him: **I have gained the utmost confidence of 
the Canadians and Indians; and in the eyes of the 
former, when I travel or visit their camps, I have 
the air of a tribune of the people." ' ^ The affection 
of the Indians for me is so strong that there are 
moments when it astonishes the Governor."^ ^The 
Indians are delighted with me," he says in another 
letter; ^the Canadians are pleased with me; their 
officers esteem and fear me, and would be glad if the 
French troops and their general could be dispensed 
with; and so should I."^ And he writes to his 
mother: ^The part I have to play is unique: I am a 
general-in-chief subordinated; sometimes with every- 
thing to do, and sometimes nothing; I am esteemed, 
respected, beloved, envied, hated ; I pass for proud, 

1 Montcalm au MinUtre lU la GWre, 11 JuUUt, 1767. 

• Ibid., 1 Novembre, 1766. 

• Ifnd,, 18 Septembre, 1767. 

* Ibid., 4 Novembre, 1767. 

* Ibid., 28 AoUt, 1766. 

1766. 1767.] VIEWS OP BOUGAINyiLLE. 479 

supple, stiff, yielding, polite, devout^ gallant, eto.| 
and I long for peace. '*^ 

The letters of the governor and those of the general, 
it will be seen, contradict each other flatly at several 
points. Montcalm is sustained by his friend Bougain- 
ville, who says that the Indians had a great liking 
for him, and that he ^^ knew how to manage them as 
well as if he had been bom in their wigwams."' 
And while Vaudreuil complains that the Canadians 
are ill-used by Montcalm, Bougainville declares that 
the regulars are ill-used by Vaudreuil. ^^ One must 
be blind not to see that we are treated as the Spartans 
treated the Helots." Then he comments on the 
jealous reticence of the governor. ^ The Marquis de 
Montcalm has not the honor of being consulted; and 
it is generally through public rumor that he first 
hears of Monsieur de Vaudreuil*s military plans." 
He calls the governor ^^ a timid man, who can neither 
make a resolution nor keep one ; " and he gives another 
trait of him, illustrating it, after his usual way, by 
a parallel from the classics: *^ When V. produces an 
idea he falls in love with it, as Pygmalion did with 
his statue. I can forgive Pygmalion, for what he 
produced was a masterpiece."' 

The exceeding touchiness of the governor was 
sorely tried by certain indiscretions on the part of the 
general, who in his rapid and vehement utterances 

1 Mantealm h Madame de Saint-VAxin, 23 SepUmhn, 1767. 

* BougainvUU h Saint-Lawtne, 19 AoiH, 1767. 

• BougainriUey JommaL 


•ometimeB forgot tbe rules of prudence. His anger, 
tiiough not deep, was extremely impetuons; and it 
is said that his irritation against Vaudreuil some- 
times found escape in tiie presence of servants and 
soldiers.^ There was no lack of reporters, and th^ 
governor was told everything. The breach widened 
apace, and Canada divided itself into two camps: 
that of Vandreuil with tiie colony officers, civil and 
military, and that of Montcalm with the officers 
from France. The principal exception was the 
Chevalier de L^vis. This brave and able com- 
mander had an easy and adaptable nature, whicb 
made him a sort of connecting link between the two 
parties. ^ One should be on good terms with every- 
body," was a maxim which he sometimes expressed, 
and on which he shaped his conduct with notable 
success. The intendant Bigot also, an adroit and 
accomplished person, had the skill to avoid breaking 
with either sidd. 

But now the season of action was near, and 
domestic strife must give place to efforts against the 
common foe. ^God or devil!" Montcalm wrote to 
Bourlamaque, ^we must do something and risk a 
fight. If we succeed, we can, all three of us [you, 
Uvisy and 7], ask for promotion. Bum this letter." 
The prospects, on the whole, werer hopeful. The 
victory at Oswego had wrought marvels among the 
Indians, inspired the faithful, confirmed the waver- 
ing, and daunted the ill-disposed. The whole West 

^ £v/nemmUs de la Guerre en Canada, ITfiO^ 176(X 


was astir, ready to pour itself again in blood and 
fire against the English border; and even the 
Cherokees and Choctaws, old friends of the British 
colonies, seemed on the point of turning against 
them.^ The Five Nations were half won for France. 
In November a large deputation of them came to 
renew the chain of friendship at Montreal. ^' I have 
laid Oswego in ashes," said Vaudreuil; ^'the English 
quail before me. Why do you nourish serpents in 
your bosom ? They mean only to enslave you. " The 
deputies trampled under foot the medals the English 
had given them, and promised the ^'Devourer of 
Villages," for so they styled the governor, that they 
would never more lift the hatchet against his children. 
The chief difficulty was to get rid of them; for, 
being clothed and fed at the expense of the King, 
they were in no haste to take leave; and learning 
that New Year's Day was a time of visits, gifts, and 
health-drinking, they declared that they would stay 
to share its pleasures; which tliey did, to their own 
satisfaction and the annoyance of those who were 
forced to entertain them and their squaws.^ An 
active siding witJi France was to be expected only 
from the western bands of the Confederacy. Neu- 
trality alone could be hoped for from the others, who 

1 VaudreuU au Miniwtrt de la Marine, 19 Avril, 1767. 

* Montcalm au Minittre de la Guerre, 24 AtfrU, 1757 ; Relation de 
VAmhauade de$ Cinq Nations a Montreal, Jointe a la lettre pr€c€dente, 
Proch-verbal de diffhentee EiUremtee entre M. de Vaudreuil et lu 
Diputie dee Natione eauvages du 13 au dO Ikbembre, 1766. Bfalartic, 
Journal. Montcalm h Madame de Saint- V€ran, 1 Avrilt 1757. 
TOL.I. — 81 


were too near the English safely to declare against 
them; while from one of tlie tribes, the Mohawks, 
even neutrality was doubtful. 

Vaudreuil, while disliking the French regulars, 
felt that he could not dispense with them, and had 
asked for a reinforcement. His request was granted; 
and the colonial mmister informed him that twenty- 
four hundred men had been ordered to Canada to 
strengthen the colony regulars and the battalions of 
Montcalm.^ This, according to the estimate of the 
minister, would raise the regular force in Canada to 
sixtjr-Bix hundred rank and file.' The announcement 
was followed by another, less agreeable. It was to 
tiie effect that a formidable squadron was fitting out 
in British ports. Was Quebec to be attacked, or 
Louisbourg? Louisbourg was beyond reach of suc- 
cor from Canada; it must rely on its own strength 
and on help from France. But so long as Quebec 
was threatened, all the troops in the colony must be 
held ready to defend it, and the hope of attacking 
England in her own domains must be abandoned. 
Till these doubts were solved, nothing could be 
done ; and hence g^at activity in catching prisoners 
for the sake of news. A few were brought in, but 
they knew no more of the matter than the French 
themselves ; and Vaudreuil and Montcalm rested for 
a while in suspense. 

1 Ordn9 du Roy et D^pSehes des Minittres, Mars, 1767. 
* Ministerial Minuie on lA« MilHary Force in Canada^ 1767, in N, Y^ 
Col, Docs., X. 62& 

1757.] ENGLISH DELAYS. 483 

The truth, had they known it, would have glad- 
dened their hearts. The English preparations were 
aimed at Louisbourg. In the autumn before, Loudon, 
prejudiced against all plans of his predecessor, 
Shirley, proposed to the ministry a scheme of his 
own, involving a possible attack on Quebec, but with 
the reduction of Louisbourg as its immediate object, 
— an important object, no doubt, but one tiiat had 
no direct bearing on the main question of controlling 
the interior of the continent. Pitt, then for a brief 
space at the head of the government, accepted the 
suggestion, and set himself to executing it; but he 
was hampered by opposition, and early in April was 
forced to resign. Then followed a contest of rival 
claimants to office; and the war against France was 
made subordinate to disputes of personal politics. 
Meanwhile one Florence Hensey, a spy at London, 
had informed the French court that a great armament 
was fitting out for America, though he could not tell 
its precise destination. Without loss of time three 
French squadrons were sent across the Atlantic, with 
orders to rendezvous at Louisbourg, the conjectured 
point of attack. 

The English were as tardy as their enemies were 
prompt. Everything depended on speed; yet their 
fleet, under Admiral Holboume, consisting of fifteen 
shipe-of-the-line and three frigates, with about five 
thousand troops on board, did not get to sea till the 
fifth of May, when it made sail for Halifax, where 
Loudon was to meet it with additional forces. 


Loudon had drawn off the best part of the troops 
from the northern frontier, and they were now at 
New York waiting for embarkation. That the design 
might be kept secret, he laid an embargo on colonial 
shipping, — a measure which exasperated the colonists 
without answering its purpose. Now ensued a long 
delay, during which the troops, the provincial levies, 
the transports destined to carry them, and the ships 
of war which were to serve as escort, all lay idle. In 
the interval Loudon showed great activity in writing 
despatches and other avocations more or less proper 
to a commander, being always busy, without, accord- 
ing to Franklin, accomplishing anything. One 
Innis, who had come with a message from the gov- 
ernor of Pennsylvania, and had waited above a fort- 
night for the general's reply, remarked of him that 
he was like St. George on a tavern sign, always on 
horseback, and never riding on.^ Yet nobody longed 
more than he to reach the rendezvous at Halifax. 
He was waiting for news of Holboume, and he wuited 
in vain. He knew only that a French fleet had been 
seen off the coast strong enough to overpower his 
escort and sink all his transports.^ But the season 
was growing late ; he must act quickly if he was to 
act at all. He and Sir Charles Hardy agreed between 

1 Works of Franklin, i. 219. Franklin intimates that whUe LoQ- 
don was constantly writing, he rarely sent off despatches. This !■ 
a mistake ; there is abundance of them, often tedlonsly long, in the 
Public Record Office. 

* Loudon to Pitt, 30 May, 1757. He had not learned Pitt's 

1767.] FAILURE OF LOUDOK. 486 

them that the risk must be run; and on the twentieth 
of June the whole force put to sea. They met no 
enemy, and entered Halifax harbor on the thirtieth. 
Holboume and his fleet had not yet appeared; but 
his ships soon came straggling in, and before the 
tenth of July all were at anchor before the town. 
Then there was more delay. The troops, nearly 
twelve thousand in all, were landed, and weeks were 
spent in drilling tliem and planting vegetables for 
their refreshment. Sir Charles Hay was put under 
arrest for saying that the nation's money was spent 
in sham battles and raising cabbages. Some attempts 
were made to learn the state of Louisbourg; and 
Captain Gorham, of the rangers, who reconnoitred it 
from a fishing vessel, brought back an imperfect 
report, upon which, after some hesitation, it was 
resolved to proceed to the attagk. The troops were 
embarked again, and all was ready, when, on the 
fourth of August, a sloop came from Newfoundland, 
bringing letters found on board a French vessel lately 
captured. From these it appeared that all three of 
the French squadrons were united in the harbor of 
Louisbourg, to the number of twenty-two ships-of- 
the-line, besides several frigates, and that the gar- 
rison had been increased to' a total force of seven 
thousand men, ensconced in the strongest fortress of 
the continent. So far as concerned the naval force, 
the account was true. La Motte, the French admiral, 
had with him a fleet carrying an aggregate of thir- 
teen hundred and sixty cannon, anchored in a shel' 


tered harbor under the guns of the town. Success 
was now hopeless, and the costly enterprise was at 
once abandoned. Loudon with his troops sailed back 
for New York, and Admiral Holboume, who had 
been joined by four additional ships, steered for 
Louisbourg, in hopes that the French fleet would 
come out and fight him. He cruised off the port; 
but La Motte did not accept the challenge. 

The elements declared for France. A September 
gale, of fury rare even on that tempestuous coast, 
burst upon the British fleet. ^It blew a perfect 
hurricane," sajrs the unfortunate admiral, ^'and drove 
us right on shore." One ship was dashed on the 
rocks, two leagues from Louisbourg. A shifting of 
the wind in the nick of time saved the rest from total 
wreck. Nine were dismasted; others threw their 
cannon into the sea. Not one was left fit for imme- 
diate action; and had La Motte sailed out of Louis- 
bourg, he would have had them all at his mercy. 

Delay, the source of most of the disasters that 
befell England and her colonies at this dismal epoch, 
was the ruin of the Louisbourg expedition. The 
greater part of La Motte 's fleet reached its desti- 
nation a full month before that of Holboume. Had 
the reverse taken place, the fortress miist have 
fallen. As it was, the ill-starred attempt, drawing 
off the British forces from the frontier, where they 
were needed most, did for France more than she 
could have done for herself, and gave Montcalm and 

1757.] FORCE OF THE FRENCH. 487 

Vaudreuil the opportunity to execute a scheme which 
they had nursed since the fall of Oswego.^ 

^ Despatchei of Loudon, February to August, 1767. Knox, Cam- 
paigru in North America, i. 6-28. Knox was in the expedition. 
Review of Mr. Pitt'i Administration (London, 1763). The Conduct of 
a Noble Commander in America impartially reviewed (London, 1758). 
Beatson, Naval and Military Memoirs, ii. 49-50. Answer to the Letter 
to two Great Men (London, 1760). Entick, ii. 168, 169. Holboume to 
Loudon, 4 August, 1757. HoCboume to Pitt, 29 September, 1757. Ibid,, 
dO September, 1757. Holboume to Pownall, 2 November, 1757. Mante, 
86, 97. Relation du D^instre arrivS a la Flotte Angkdse commandUe par 
VAmiral Holboume, CheTalier Johnstone, Campaign of Louisbourg, 
London Magazine, 1757, 514. Gentleman's Magazine, 1757, 468, 476. 
Ibid., 1758, 168-178. 

It has been said that London was scared from his task hj false 
reports of the strength of the French at Looisbourg. This was not 
the case. The Gazetu de France, 621, says that La Motte had 
twentj-f onr ships of war. Bongainyille sajs that as earlj as the 
ninth of Jnne there were twenty-one ships of war, including fiye 
frigates, at Looisbonrg. To this the list giren bj Knox closely 




Anotheb Blow. — Ths Wab-aono. — Tbb Ahmt at Tiocm* 
DEROOA. — Indian Allies. — The War-feast. — Trsaticbiit 
OF Prisoners. — Cannibalism. — Surprise and Slauobtbb. — 
Tbe War Council. — March or Livis. — Thib Aemt km- 
barks. — Fort William Hbnbt. — Noctubnal Scjbhb. — 
Indian Funbbal. — Advance ufon the Fobt. — Gbneral 
Webb : his Difficulties ; his WEAUtEss. — The Sibob 
begun. — Conduct of the Indians. — /The Intebcbptbd 
Lbttbb. •— Desperate Position of th« Besieqed. — Capitu- 
lation. — Ferocitt of the Indians. — Mission of Bouqain- 
TiLLE. — Murder of Wounded Men. — A Scene of Terbob. 
— The Massacbe. — Efforts of Montcalm. — The Fort 


"' I AH going on the ninth to sing the warnsong at 
the Lake of Two Mountains, and on the next day at 
Saut St. Louis, — a long, tiresome ceremony. On 
the twelfth I am off; and I count on having news to 
tell you by the end of this month or the beginning of 
next." Thus Montcalm wrote to his wife from 
Montreal early in July. All doubts had been solved. 
Prisoners taken on the Hudson and despatches from 
Versailles had made it certain that Loudon was 
bound to Louisbourg, carrying with him the best of 
the troops that had guarded the New York frontier. 


The time was come, not only to strike the English 
on Lake George, but perhaps to seize Fort Edward 
and carry terror to Albany itself. Only one di£S- 
culty remained, the want of provisions. Agents were 
sent to collect com and bacon among the inhabitants; 
the curds and militia captains were ordered to aid in 
the work; and enough was presently found to feed 
twelve thousand men for a month.^ 

The emissaries of the governor had been busy all 
winter among the tribes of the West and j^orth ; and 
more than a thousand savages, lured by the prospect 
of gifts, scalps, and plunder, were now encamped at 
Montreal. Many of them had never visited a French 
settlement before. All were eager to see Montcalm, 
whose exploit in taking Oswego had inflamed their 
imagination; and one day, on a visit of ceremony, an 
orator from Michilimackinac addressed the general 
thus: ^^We wanted to see this famous man who 
tramples the English under his feet We thought 
we should find him so tall that his head would be 
lost in the clouds. But you are a little man, my 
Father. It is when we look into your eyes that we 
see the greatness of the pine-tree and the fire of the 

It remained to muster the Mission Indians settled 
in or near the limits of the colony ; and it was to this 
end that Montcalm went to sing the war-song with 

^ VandrenU, XettrM etrenhnru amx Curh H aux CajntaimM d§ 
MiUee de$ ParoiutM da Gawtermmmd de Montrtal, 16 Juin, 1757 
* Boagainyille, Journal. 


the converts of the Two Mountains. Rigaud, Bou- 
gainville, young Longueuil, and others were of the 
party; and when they landed, the Indians came 
down to the shore, their priests at their head, and 
greeted the general with a volley of musketry; then 
received him after dark in their grand council-lodge, 
where the circle of wild and savage visages, half seen 
in the dim light of a few candles, suggested to 
Bougainville a midnight conclave of wizards. He 
acted vicariously the chief part in the ceremony. " I 
sang the war-song in the name of M. de Montcalm, 
and was much applauded. It was nothing but these 
words, ^ Let us trample the English under our feet, ' 
chanted over and over again, in cadence with the 
movements of the savages." Then came the war- 
feast, against which occasion Montcalm had caused 
three oxen to be roasted.^ On the next day the 
party went to Caughnawaga, or Saut St. Louis, 
where the ceremony was repeated; and Bougainville, 
who again sang the war-song in the name of his com- 
mander, was requited by adoption into the clan of 
the Turtle. Three more oxen were solemnly de- 
voured, and with one voice the warriors took up the 

Meanwhile troops, Canadians and Indians, were 

^ Boagainyille describes a ceremony in the Mission Church of 
the Two Mountains in which warriors and squaws sang in the choir. 
Ninety-nine years after, in 1866, I was present at a similar cere- 
mony on the same spot, and heard the descendants of the same 
warriors and squaws sing like their ancestors. Great changes hare 
since taken place at this old mission. 


moving by detachments up Lake Champlain. Fleets 
of bateaux and canoes followed each other day by 
day along the capricious lake, in calm or storm, sun- 
shine or rain, till, towards the end of July, the whole 
force was gathered at Ticonderoga, the base of the 
intended movement. Bourlamaque had been there 
since May with the battalions of B^m and Royal 
Roussillon, finishing the fort, sending out war- 
parties, and trying to discover the force and designs 
of the English at Fort William Henry. 

Ticonderoga is a high rocky promontory between 
Lake Champlain on the north and the mouth of the 
outlet of Lake George on the south. Near its 
extremity and close to the fort were still encamped 
the two battalions under Bourlamaque, while bateaux 
and canoes were passing incessantly up the river of 
the outlet. There were scarcely two miles of navi- 
gable water, at the end of which the stream fell 
foaming over a high ledge of rock that barred the 
way. Here the French were building a saw-mill; 
and a wide space had been cleared to form an encamp- 
ment defended on all sides by an abattis, within 
which stood the tents of the battalions of La Reine, 
La Sarre, Languedoc, and Guienne, all commanded 
by L^vis. Above the cascade the stream circled 
through the forest in a series of beautiful rapids, and 
from the camp of L^vis a road a mile and a half long 
had been cut to the navigable water above. At the 
end of this road there was another fortified camp, 
formed of colony regulars, Canadians, and Indians, 


under Rigaud. It was scarcely a mile fartiher to 
Lake George, where on the western side there was 
an outpost, chiefly of Canadians and Indians ; while 
advanced parties were stationed at Bald Mountain, 
now called Rogers Rock, and elsewhere on the lake, 
to watch the movements of the English. The 
various encampments just mentioned were ranged 
along a valley extending four mUes from Lake 
Champlain to Lake George, and bordered by moun- 
tains wooded to the top. 

Here was gathered a martial population of eight 
thousand men, including the brightest civilization 
and the darkest barbarism: from the scholar-soldier 
Montcalm and his no less accomplished aide-de-camp; 
from Ldvis, conspicuous for graces of person; from 
a throng of courtly young officers, who would have 
seemed out of place in that wilderness had they not 
done their work so well in it; from these to the 
foulest man-eating savage of the uttermost northwest. 

Of Indian allies there were nearly two thousand. 
One of their tribes, the lowas, spoke a language 
which no interpreter understood; and they all biv- 
ouacked where they saw fit: for no man could control 
them. ^^I see no difference," sajns Bougainville, ^^in 
the dress, ornaments, dances, and songs of the 
various western nations. They go naked, excepting 
a strip of cloth passed through a belt, and paint 
themselves black, red, blue, and other colors. Their 
heads are shaved and adorned with bunches of 
feathers, and they wear rings of brass wire in theix 


ears. They wear beayernskin blankets, and cany 
lances, bows and arrows, and quivers made of the 
skins of beasts. For the rest they are straight, well 
made, and generally very tall. Their religion is 
brute paganism. I will say it once for all, one must 
be the slave of these savages, listen to them day and 
night, in council and in private, whenever the fancy 
takes them, or whenever a dream, a fit of the vapors, 
or their perpetual craving for brandy, gets possession 
of them; besides which they are always wanting 
something for their equipment, arms, or toilet, and 
the general of the army must give written orders 
for the smallest trifle, — an eternal, wearisome detail, 
of which one has no idea in Europe." 

It was not easy to keep them fed. Rations would 
be served to them for a week; they would consume 
them in three days, and come for more. On one 
occasion they took the matter into their own hands, 
and butchered and devoured eighteen head of cattle 
intended for the troops; nor did any officer dare 
oppose this ^^St. Bartholomew of the oxen," as 
Bougainville calls it. ^^ Their paradise is to be 
drunk," says the young officer. Their paradise was 
rather a hell; for sometimes, when mad with brandy, 
they grappled and tore each other with their teeth 
like wolves. They were continually ^ making medi- 
cine," that is, consulting the Manitou, to whom they 
hung up offerings, sometimes a dead dog, and some- 
times the belt-cloth which formed their only garment 

The Mission Indians were better allies than these 


heathen of the West; and their priests, who followed 
them to the war, had great influence over them. 
They were armed with guns, which they well knew 
how to use. Their dress, though savage, was gen- 
erally decent, and they were not cannibals; though 
in other respects they retained all their traditional 
ferocity and most of their traditional habits. They 
held frequent war-feasts, one of which is described 
by Roubaud, Jesuit missionary of the Abenakis of 
St. Francis, whose flock formed a part of the com- 
pany present. 

^^ Imagine, " says the father, '^a great assembly of 
savages adorned with every ornament most suited to 
disfigure them in European eyes, painted with ver- 
milion, white, green, yellow, and black made of soot 
and the scrapings of pots. A single savage face 
combines all these different colors, methodically laid 
on with the help of a little tallow, which serves for 
pomatum. The head is shaved except at the top, 
where there is a small tuft, to which are fastened 
feathers, a few beads of wampum, or some such 
trinket. Every part of the head has its ornament. 
Pendants hang from the nose and also from the 
ears, which are split in infancy and drawn down by 
weights till they flap at last against the shoulders. 
The rest of the equipment answers to this fantastic 
decoration: a shirt bedaubed with vermilion, wam- 
pum collars, silver bracelets, a large knife hanging 
on the breast, moosenskin moccasons, and a belt of 
various colors always absurdly combined. The 

1757.] WARr-FEAST. 496 

sachems and war-ohiefis are distinguished from the 
rest: the latter by a gorget, and the former by a 
medal, with the King's portrait on one side, and oa 
the others Mars and Bellona joining hands, with the 
device. Virtus et Honor. ^^ 

Thus attired, the company sat in two lines facing 
each other, with kettles in the middle filled with 
meat chopped for distribution. To a dignified silence 
succeeded songs, sung by several chiefs in succession, 
and compared by the narrator to the howling of 
wolves. Then followed a speech from the chief 
orator, highly commended by Roubaud, who could 
not help admiring this effort of savage eloquence. 
"After the harangue," he continues, "they proceeded 
to nominate the chiefis who were to take command. 
As soon as one was named he rose and took the head 
of some animal that had been butchered for the feast. 
He raised it aloft so that all the company could see 
it, and cried, ^ Behold the head of the enemy I ' 
Applause and cries of joy rose from all parts of the 
assembly. The chief, with the head in his hand, 
passed down between the lines, singing his war-song, 
bragging of his exploits, taunting and defjring the 
enemy, and glorifying himself beyond all measure. 
To hear his self-laudation in these moments of martial 
transport one would think him a conquering hero 
ready to sweep everjrthing before him. As he passed 
in front of the other savages, they would respond by 
dull broken cries jerked up from the depths of their 
stomachs, and accompanied by movements of theii 


bodies so odd that one must be well used to them to 
keep countenance. In the course of his song the 
chief would utter from time to time some grotesque 
witticism; then he would stop, as if pleased with 
himself, or rather to listen to the thousand confused 
cries of applause that greeted his ears. He kept up 
his martial promenade as long as he liked the sport; 
and when he had had enough, ended by flinging 
down the head of the animal with an air of contempt, 
to show that his warlike appetite craved meat of 
another sort."^ Others followed with similar songs 
and pantomime, and the festival was closed at last 
by ladling out the meat from the kettles, and devour- 
ing it. 

Roubaud was one day near the fort, when he saw 
the shore lined with a thousand Indians, watching 
four or five English prisoners, who, with the war- 
party that had captured them, were approaching in 
a boat from the farther side of the water. Suddenly 
the whole savage crew broke away together and ran 
into the neighboring woods, whence they soon 
emerged, yelling diaboUcally, each armed with a 
club. The wretched prisoners were to be forced to 
*^run the gantlet," which would probably have 
killed them. They were saved by the chief who 
commanded the war-party, and who, on the persua* 
sion of a French officer, claimed them as his own 
and forbade the game; upon which, according to 

^ Lettresdu Plre . . . (Roubaud), Afi55i(miiatrecA«<^^6eiial:i«y 3] 
OcfQ6r«, 1767, in Lettrf Mdifiantu 0t Cwriwtei, yi. 180 (1810). 

1767.] CANNIBALISM. 497 

role in such oases, the rest abandoned it. On this 
same day the missionary met troops of Indians con- 
ducting several bands of English prisoners along the 
road that led through the forest from the camp of 
L^vis. Each of the captives was held by a cord made 
fast about the neck; and the sweat was starting from 
their brows in the extremity of their horror and dis- 
tress. Roubaud's tent was at this time in the camp 
of the Ottawas. He presently saw a large number 
of them squatted about a fire, before which meat was 
roasting on sticks stuck in the ground ; and, approach- 
ing, he saw that it was the flesh of an Englishman, 
other parts of which were boiling in a kettle, while 
near by sat eight or ten of the prisoners, forced to 
see their comrade devoured. The horror-stricken 
priest began to remonstrate ; on which a young savage 
fiercely replied in broken French: "You have French 
taste; I have Indian. This is good meat forme;'' 
and the feasters pressed him to share it. 

Bougainville says that this abomination could not 
be prevented; which only means that if force had 
been used to stop it, the Ottawas would have gone 
home in a rage. They were therefore left to finish 
their meal undisturbed. Having eaten one of their 
prisoners, they began to treat the rest with the 
utmost kindness, bringing them white bread, and 
attending to all their wants, — a seeming change oi 
heart due to the fact that they were a valuable com- 
modity, for which the owners hoped to get a good 
price at Montreal. Montcalm wished to send them 

TOL. X.— S2 


thither at once, to which after long debate the 
Indians consented, demanding, however, a receipt in 
full, and bargaining that the captives should be sup- 
plied with shoes and blankets.^ 

These unfortunates belonged to a detachment of 
three hundred provincials, chiefly New Jersey men, 
sent from Fort William Henry under command of 
Colonel Parker to reconnoitre the French outposts. 
Montcalm's scouts discovered them ; on which a band 
of Indians, considerably more numerous, went to 
meet them under a French partisan named Corbidre, 
and ambushed themselves not far from Sabbath Day 
Point. Parker had rashly divided his force ; and at 
daybreak of the twenty-sixth of July three of his 
boats fell into the snare, and were captured without 
a shot. Three others followed, in ignorance of what 
had happened, and shared the &te of the first. 
When the rest drew near, they were greeted by a 
deadly volley from the thickets, and a swarm of 
canoes darted out upon them. The men were seized 
with such a panic that some of them jumped into the 
water to escape, while the Indians leaped after them 
and speared them with their lances like fish. ** Terri- 
fied," says Bougainville, "by the sight of these 
monsters, their agility, their firing, and their yells, 
they surrendered almost without resistance.*' About 
a hundred, however, made their escape. The rest 

^ Journal de PExp€diti<m contre U Fort George [William HenryJ 
du 12 JuiUet au 16 Aok, 1757. BougainTille, Journal. Uttre du P. 

1757.] GRAND COUNCIL. 499 

were killed or captured, and three of the bodies were 
eaten on the spot. The journalist adds that the 
victory so elated the Indians that they became insup- 
portable; ^^but here in the forests of America we can 
no more do without them than without cavalry on 
the plain.*'* 

Another success at about the same time did not 
tend to improve their manners. A hundred and fifty 
of them, along with a few Canadians under Marin, 
made a dash at Fort Edward, killed or drove in the 
pickets, and returned with thirty-two scalps and a 
prisoner. It was found, however, that the scalps 
were far from representing an equal number of heads, 
the Indians having learned the art of making two or 
three out of one by judicious division.' 

Preparations were urged on with the utmost energy. 
Provisions, camp equipage, ammunition, cannon, and 
bateaux were dragged by gangs of men up the road 
from the camp of L^vis to the head of the rapids. 
The work went on through heat and rain, by day 
and night, till, at the end of July, all was done. 
Now, on the eve of departure, Montcalm, anxious for 

1 BougainTille, Journal. Malartic, Jmtmal. Montcalm h Vau^ 
dreuil, 27 JuHUt, 1757. Webb to Loudon, 1 August, 1757. Webb to 
Delanceif, 30 Juljf, 1757. Journal de V Expedition amtre le Fort George, 
London Magazine, 1757, 457. Niles, French and Indian Wars, 
Boston Gazette, 15 August, 1757. 

* This affair waa much exaggerated at the time. I foUow Bou« 
gainrille, who had the facta from Marin. According to him, the 
thirtj-two scalps represent eleven killed ; which exactly answers to 
the English lost as stated bj Colonel Frje in a letter from Foit 


harmony among his red allies, called them to a grand 
council near the camp of Rigaud. Forty-one tribes 
and sub-tribes, Christian and heathen, from the East 
and from the West, were represented in it. Here 
were the mission savages, — Iroquois of Caughnawaga, 
Two Mountains, and La Pr&entation; Tlurons of 
Lorette and Detroit; Nipissings of Lake Nipissing; 
Abenakis of St. Francis, Becancour, Missisqui, and 
the Penobscot; Algonquins of Three Rivers and Two 
Mountains; Micmacs and Malicites from Acadia: in 
all, eight hundred chiefs and warriors. With these 
came the heathen of the West, — Ottawas of seven 
distinct bands; Ojibwas from Lake Superior, and 
Mississagas from the region of Lakes Erie and 
Huron; Pottawattamies and Menominies from Lake 
Michigan; Sacs, Foxes, and Winnebagoes from 
Wisconsin ; Miamis from the prairies of Illinois, and 
lowas from the banks of the Des Moines : nine hun- 
dred and seventy-nine chiefs and warriors, men of 
the forests and men of the plains, hunters of the 
moose and hunters of the buffalo, bearers of steel 
hatchets and stone war-clubs, of French guns and of 
flint-headed arrows. All sat in silence, decked with 
ceremonial paint, scalp-locks, eagle plumes, or horns 
of buffalo; and the dark and wild assemblage was 
edged with white uniforms of officers from France, 
who came in numbers to the spectacle. Other 
officers were also here, all belonging to the colony. 
They had been appointed to the command of the 
Indian allies, over whom, however, they had little or 

1767.] INDIAN ORATORY. 601 

no real authority. First among them was the bold 
and hardy Saint-Luc de la Come, who was called 
general of the Indians ; and under him were others, 
each assigned to some tribe or group of tribes, — the 
intrepid Marin; Charles Langlade, who had left his 
squaw wife at Michilimackinac to join the war; 
Niyerville, Langis, La Plante, Hertel, Longueuil, 
Herbin, Lorimier, Sabrevois, and Fleurimont; men 
familiar from childhood with forests and savages. 
Each tribe had its interpreter, often as lawless as 
those with whom he had spent his life ; and for the 
converted tribes there were three missionaries, — 
Piquet for the Iroquois, Mathevet for the Nipissings, 
who were half heathen, and Roubaud for the 

There was some complaint among the Indians be- 
cause they were crowded upon by the officers who 
came as spectators. This difficulty being removed, 
the council opened, Montcalm having already ex- 
plained his plans to the chiefs and told them the part 
he expected them to play. 

Pennahouel, chief of the Ottawas, and senior of all 
the Assembly, rose and said: ^^My father, I, who 
have counted more moons than any here, thank you 
for the good words you have spoken. I approve 

1 The aboYe !■ chiefly from Tableau des Saueagea qui se trouvent a 
VArm^B du Marquis de Montcalm, le 28 Juillet, 1757. Fortj-one tribes 
and sub-tribes are here named, some, howeyer, represented by only 
three or four warriors. Besides those set down under the head of 
Christians, it is stated that a few of tlie Ottawas of Detroit and 
MiehUimackinac still retained the faitli. 


them. Nobody ever spoke better. It is the Manitou 
of War who inspires you." 

Kikensick, chief of the Nipissings, rose in behalf 
of the Christian Indians, and addressed the heathen 
^of the west. "Brothers, we thank you for coming 
to help us defend our lands against the English. 
Our cause is good. The Master of Life is on our 
side. Can you doubt it, brothers, after the great blow 
you have just struck? It covers you with glory. 
The lake, red with the blood of Corlaer [the English]^ 
bears witness forever to your achievement. We too 
share your glory, and are proud of what you have 
done." Then, turning to Montcalm: "We are even 
more glad than you, my father, who have crossed 
the great water, not for your own sake, but to obey 
the great King and defend his children. He has 
bound us all together by the most solemn of ties. 
Let us take care that nothing shall separate us." 

The various interpreters, each in turn, having 
explained this speech to the Assembly, it was received 
with ejaculations of applause; and when they had 
ceased, Montcalm spoke as follows : " Children, I am 
delighted to see you all joined in this good work. 
So long as you remain one, the English cannot resist 
you. The great King has sent me to protect and 
defend you; but above all he has charged me to 
make you happy and unconquerable, by establishing 
among you the union which ought to prevail among 
brothers, children of one father, the great Onontio." 
Then he held out a prodigious wampum belt of six 

1757.] HARMONY IN CAMP. 608 

thousand beads: ^^Take this sacred pledge of his 
word. The union of the beads of which it is made is 
the sign of your united strength. By it I bind you 
all together, so that none of you can separate from 
the rest till the English are defeated and their fort 

Pennahouel took up the belt and said: ^^ Behold, 
brothers, a circle drawn around us by the great 
Onontio. Let none of us go out from it; for so long 
as we keep in it, the Master of Life will help all our 
undertakings." Other chiefis spoke to the same 
effect, and the council closed in perfect harmony.^ 
Its various members bivouacked together at the camp 
by the lake, and by their carelessness soon set it on 
fire ; whence the place became known as the Burned 
Camp. Those from the missions confessed their sins 
all day; while their heathen brothers hung an old 
coat and a pair of leggings on a pole as tribute to the 
Manitou. This greatly embarrassed the three priests, 
who were about to say mass, but doubted whether 
they ought to say it in presence of a sacrifice to the 
devil. Hereupon they took counsel of Montcalm. 
^^ Better say it so than not at all," replied the mili- 
tary casuist. Brandy being prudently denied them, 
the allies grew restless ; and the greater part paddled 
up the lake to a spot near the place where Parker 
had beBn defeated. Here they encamped to wait the 
arrival of the army, and amused themselves mean- 
time with killing rattlesnakes, there being a populous 

^ BoagsinTUle, Journal, 


"den" of those reptiles among the neighboring 

Montcalm sent a circular letter to the regular 
officers, urging them to dispense for a while with 
luxuries, and even comforts. "We have but few 
bateaux, and these are so filled with stores that a 
large division of the army must go by land ; " and he 
directed that everything not absolutely necessary 
should be left behind, and that a canvas shelter to 
every two officers should serve them for a tent, and 
a bearskin for a bed. " Yet I do not forbid a mat- 
tress," he adds. "Age and infirmities may make it 
necessary to some ; but I shall not have one myself, 
and make no doubt that all who can, will willingly 
imitate me." ^ 

The bateaux lay ready by the shore, but could not 
carry the whole force ; and L^vis received orders to 
march by the side of the lake with twenty-five hun- 
dred men, Canadians, regulars, and Iroquois. He 
set out at daybreak of the thirtieth of July, his men 
carrjdng nothing but their knapsacks, blankets, and 
weapons. Guided by the unerring Indians, they 
climbed the steep gorge at the side of Rogers Rock, 
gained the valley beyond, and marched southward 
along a Mohawk trail which threaded the forest in a 
course parallel to the lake. The way was of the 
roughest; many straggled from the line, and two 
oflBcers completely broke down. The first destina- 
tion of the party was the mouth of Ganouskie Bay, 

1 CirevHaire du Marquis de Montcalm^ 26 JuUlet^ VHH* 


now called Northwest Bay, where they were to wait 
for Montcalm, and kindle three fires as a signal that 
they had reached the rendezvous.^ 

Montcalm left a detachment to hold Ticonderoga; 
and then, on the first of August, at two in the after- 
noon, he embarked at the Burned Camp with all his 
remaining force. Including those with L^vis, the 
expedition counted about seven thousand six hun- 
dred men, of whom more than sixteen hundred were 
Indians.' At five in the afternoon they reached the 
place where the Indians, having finished their rattle- 
snake hunt, were smoking their pipes and waiting for 
the army. The red warriors embarked, and joined 
the French flotilla; and now, as evening drew near, 
was seen one of those wild pageantries of war which 
Lake George has often witnessed. A restless multi- 
tude of birch canoes, filled with painted savages, 
glided by shores and islands, like troops of swimming 
water-fowl. Two hundred and fifty bateaux came 
next, moved by sail and oar, some bearing the Cana- 
dian militia, and some the battalions of Old France 
in trim and gay attire : first, La Reine and Languedoc; 

^ Guerre du Canada, par le Chevalier de L€m». This manuscript 
of L^Tis is largely in the nature of a journal. 

* jStat de VArm^ Fran^ise devant le Fort George, autrememt 
GuiUaume-Henri, le 3 AoSif, 1757. Tableau dee Sauvages qui m 
trouvent h I'Arm^e du Marquis de Montcalm, le 28 Juillet, 1757. This 
glTes a total of 1,790 Indians, of whom some afterwards left the 
army. jStat de VArmie du Roi en Canada, sur le Lac St. Sacremeni et 
dans les Camps de Carillon, le 29 Juillet, 1757. This gives a total of 
8,019 men, of whom about four hundred wer^ left in garrison at 

506 FORT WnXIAM HENRY. [1767. 

then the colony regulars ; then La Sarre and Guienne ; 
then the Canadian brigade of Courtemanche ; then 
the cannon and mortars, each on a platform sustained 
by two bateaux lashed side by side, and rowed by 
the militia of Saint-Ours; then the battalions of 
B^am and Royal Roussillon; then the Canadians of 
Gasp^, with the provision-bateaux and the field- 
hospital; and, lastly, a rear-guard of regulars closed 
the line. So, under the flush of sunset, they held 
their course along the romantic lake, to play their 
part in the historic drama that lends a stem enchant- 
ment to its fascinating scenery. They passed the 
Narrows in mist and darkness; and when, a little 
before dawn, they rounded the high promontory of 
Tongue Mountain, they saw, far on the right, three 
fiery sparks shining through the gloom. These were 
the signal-fires of L^vis, to tell them that he had 
reached the appointed spot.^ 

L^vis had arrived the evening before, after his 
hard march through the sultiy midsummer forest. 
His men had now rested for a night, and at ten in 
the morning he marched again. Montcalm followed 
at noon, and coasted the western shore, till, towards 
evening, he found L^vis waiting for him by the 
margin of a small bay not far from the English 
fort, though hidden from it by a projecting point 
of land. Canoes and bateaux were drawn up on 
the beach, and the united forces made their bivouac 

^ The site of the present Tillage of Bolton. 

1767.] A NIGHT ALARM. 607 

The earthen mounds of Fort William Henry still 
stand by the brink of Lake George; and seated at 
the sunset of an August day under the pines that 
cover them, one gazes on a scene of soft and soothing 
beauty, where dreamy waters reflect the glories of 
the mountains and the sky. As it is to-day, so it 
was then; all breathed repose and peace. The 
splash of some leaping trout, or the dipping wing of 
a passing swallow, alone disturbed the summer calm 
of that unrufSed mirror. 

About ten o'clock at night two boats set out from 
the fort to reconnoitre. They were passing a point 
of land on their left, two miles or more down the 
lake, when the men on board descried through the 
gloom a strange object against the bank; and they 
rowed towards it to learn what it might be. It was 
an awning over the bateaux that carried Roubaud 
and his brother missionaries. As the rash oarsmen 
drew near, the bleating of a sheep in one of the 
French provision-boats warned tliem of danger; and 
turning, they pulled for their lives towards the eastern 
shore. Instantly more than a thousand Indians threw 
themselves into their canoes and dashed in hot pur- 
suit, making the lake and the moimtains ring with 
the din of their war-whoops. The fugitives had 
nearly reached land when their pursuers opened fire. 
They replied; shot one Indian dead, and woimded 
another; then snatched their oars again, and gained 
the bench. But the whole savage crew was upon 
them. Several were killed, three were taken, and 


the rest escaped in the dark woods. ^ The prisoners 
were brought before Montcabn, and gave him valu- 
able information of the strength and position of the 

The Indian who was killed was a noted chief of 
the Nipissings; and his tribesmen howled in grief for 
their bereavement. They painted his face with ver- 
milion, tied feathers in his hair, hung pendants in 
his ears and nose, clad him in a resplendent war- 
dress, put silver bracelets on his arms, hung a gorget 
on his breast with a flame-colored ribbon, and seated 
him in state on the top of a hillock, with his lance 
in his hand, his gun in the hollow of his arm, his 
tomahawk in his belt, and his kettle by his side. 
Then they all crouched about him in lugubrious 
silence. A funeral harangue followed; and next a 
song and solemn dance to the booming of the Indian 
drum. In the gray of the morning they buried him 
as he sat, and placed food in the grave for his journey 
to the land of souls. ^ 

As the sun rose above the eastern mountains the 
French camp was all astir. The column of L^vis, 
with Indians to lead the way, moved through the 

1 Lettre du Phe Roubaud, 21 Octobre, 1767. Roubaud, who MW 
the whole, mjb that tweWe hundred Indians joined the chase, and 
that their jell* were terrific. 

* The remains of Fort WiUiam Henry are now — 1882 — crowded 
between a hotel and the wharf and station of a railway. While I 
write, a scheme is on foot to leTel the whole for other railway struc- 
tures. When I first knew the place, the g^und was in much the 
tame state as in the time of Montcalm 

* Lettre du Phrt Roubaud, 


forest towards the fort, and Montcalm followed with 
the main body ; then the artilleiy boats rounded the 
point that had hid them from the sight of the Eng- 
lish, saluting them as they did so with musketry and 
cannon; while a host of savages put out upon the 
lake, ranged their canoes abreast in a line from shore 
to shore, and advanced slowly, with measured paddle- 
strokes and yells of defiance. 

The position of the enemy was full in sight before 
them. At the head of the lake, towards the right, 
stood the fort, close to the edge of the water. On 
its left was a marsh ; then the rough piece of ground 
where Johnson had encamped two years before; then 
a low, flat, rocky hill, crowned with an inti*enched 
camp; and, lastly, on the extreme left, another 
marsh. Far around the fort and up the slopes of the 
western mountain the forest had been cut down and 
burned, and the ground was cumbered with black- 
ened stumps and charred carcasses and limbs of fallen 
trees, strewn in savage disorder one upon another. ^ 
This was the work of Winslow in the autumn before. 
Distant shouts and war-cries, the clatter of musketry, 
white puffs of smoke in the dismal clearing and along 
the scorched edge of the bordering forest, told that 
Levis' Indians were skirmishing with parties of the 
English, who had gone out to save the cattle roam- 
ing in the neighborhood, and bum some out-buildings 
that would have favored the besiegers. Others were 

1 Pr€ci9 des ^v^kementi de la Campagne de 1767 en la NouveUe 


taking down the tents that stood on a plateau neai 
the foot of the mountain on the right, and moving 
them to the intrenchment on the hill. The garrison 
sallied from the fort to support their comrades, and 
for a time the firing was hot. 

Fort William Henry was an irregular bastioned 
square, formed by embankments of gravel sur- 
mounted by a rampart of heavy logs, laid in tiers 
crossed one upon another, the interstices filled with 
earth. The lake protected it on the north, the 
marsh on the east, and ditches with chevaux-de-frise 
on the south and west. Seventeen cannon, great 
and small, besides several mortars and swivels, were 
mounted upon it; ^ and a brave Scotch veteran, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Monro, of the thirty-fifth regi- 
ment, was in command. 

General Webb lay fourteen miles distant at Fort 
Edward, with twenty-six hundred men, chiefly 
provincials. On the twenty-fifth of July he had 
made a visit to Fort William Henry, examined the 
place, given some orders, and returned on the twenty- 
ninth. He then wrote to the governor of New York, 
telling him that the French were certainly coming, 
begging him to send up the militia, and saying: ^^I 
am determined to march to Fort William Henry 
with the whole army under my command as soon as I 
shall hear of the farther approach of the enemy." 

1 Aai des Effets et Munitions de Guerre qui se tont trouv^ au Fori 
GuiUaume-Henri, There were six more gun* in the intrenched 


Instead of doing so he waited three days, and then 
sent up a detachment of two hundred regulars under 
Lieutenant-Colonel Young, and eight hundred Massa- 
chusetts men under Colonel Fiye. This raised the 
force at the lake to two thousand and two hundred, 
including sailors and mechanics, and reduced that of 
Webb to sixteen hundred, besides half as many more 
distributed at Albany and the intervening forts. ^ If, 
according to his spirited intention, he should go to 
the rescue of Monro, he must leave some of his 
troops behind him to protect the lower posts from a 
possible French inroad by way of South Bay. Thua 
his power of aiding Monro was slight, so rashly had 
Loudon, intent on Louisbourg, left this frontier open 
to attack. The defect, however, was as much in 
Webb himself as in his resources. His conduct in 
the past year had raised doubts of his personal 
courage; and this was the moment for answering 
them. Great as was the disparity of numbers, the 
emergency would have justified an attempt to save 
Monro at any risk. That officer sent him a hasty 
note, written at nine o'clock on the morning of the 
third, telling him that the French were in sight on 
the lake ; and, in the next night, three rangers came 
to Fort Edward, bringing another short note, dated 
at six in the evening, announcing that the firing had 
begun, and closing with the words : " I believe you 
will think it proper to send a reinforcement as soon 

1 Frye, Journal of the Attack of Fort WiUiam Henry. Webb U 
Loudtm, 1 Auguet^ 1757. Ihid., 5 August, VJbl. 


as possible." Now, if ever, was the time to move, 
before the fort was invested and access cut off. But 
Webb lay quiet, sending expresses to New England 
for help which could not possibly arrive in time. 
On the next night, another note came from Monro 
to say that the French were upon him in great num- 
bers, well supplied with artillery, but that the gar- 
rison were all in good spirits. ^^I make no doubt,*' 
wrote the hard-pressed officer, ^that you will soon 
send us a reinforcement; " and again on the same 
day: ^ We are very certain that a part of the enemy 
have got between you and us upon the high road, 
and would therefore be glad (if it meets with your 
approbation) the whole army was marched.*'^ But 
Webb gave no sign.* 

When the skirmishing around the fort was over, 
La Come, with a body of Indians, occupied the road 
that led to Fort Edward, and L^vis encamped hard 
by to support him, while Montcalm proceeded to 
examine the ground and settle his plan of attack. 
He made his way to the rear of the intrenched camp 
and reconnoitred it, hoping to carry it by assault; 
but it had a breastwork of stones and logs, and he 

1 Copy of four Letters from Lieutenant-Colonel Monro to Major' 
General Webb^ enclosed in the General's Letter of thejiflk of August to 
the Earl of Loudon, 

* " The number of troops remaining under my Command at this 
place [Fort Edward], excluding the Posts on Hudson's River, 
amounts to but sixteen hundred men fit for duty, with which Army, 
so much inferior to that of the enemy, I did not think it prudent to 
pursue my first intentions of Marching to their Assistance." — 
WeU to Loudon, 5 August, 1767. 



thought the attempt too hazardous. The ground 
where he stood was that where Dieskau had been 
defeated ; and as the fate of his predecessor was not 
of flattering augury, he resolved to besiege the fort 
in form. 

He chose for the site of his operations the ground 
now covered by the village of Caldwell. A little to 
the north of it was a ravine, beyond which he formed 
his main camp, while L^vis occupied a tract of dry 
ground beside the marsh, whence he could easily 
move to intercept succors from Fort Edward on the 
one hand, or repel a sortie from Fort William Henry 
on the other. A brook ran down the ravine and 
entered the lake at a small cove protected from the 
fire of the fort by a point of land; and at this place, 
still called Artillery Cove, Montcalm prepared to 
debark his cannon and mortars. 

Having made his preparations, he sent Fontbrune, 
one of his aides-de-camp, with a letter to Monro. 
**I owe it to humanity," he wrote, "to summon you 
to surrender. At present I can restrain the savages, 
and make them observe the terms of a capitulation, 
as I might not have power to do under other circum- 
stances; and an obstinate defence on your part could 
only retard the capture of the place a few days, and 
endanger an unfortunate garrison which cannot be 
relieved, in consequence of the dispositions I have 
made. I demand a decisive answer within an hour.'* 
Monro replied that he and his soldiers would defend 

themselves to the last. While the flags of truce 
VOL. I. — 83 


were flying, the Indians swarmed over the fields before 
the fort; and when they learned the result, an 
Abenaki chief shouted in broken French: "You 
won't surrender, eh ! Fire away then, and fight your 
best; for if I catch you, you shall get no quarter." 
Monro emphasized his refusal by a general discharge 
of his cannon. 

The trenches were opened on the night of the 
fourth, — a task of extreme difficulty, as the ground 
was covered by a profusion of half-burned stumps, 
roots, branches, and fallen trunks. Eight hundred 
men toiled till daylight with pick, spade, and axe, 
while the cannon from the fort flashed through the 
darkness, and grape and round-shot whistled and 
screamed over their heads. Some of the English 
balls reached the camp beyond the ravine, and dis- 
turbed the slumbers of the officers off duty, as they 
lay wrapped in their blankets and bearnskins. Before 
daybreak the first parallel was made; a battery was 
nearly finished on the left, and another was begun on 
the right. The men now worked under cover, safe 
in their burrows ; one gang relieved another, and the 
work went on all day. 

The Indians were far from doing what was expected 
of them. Instead of scouting in the direction of Fort 
Edward to learn the movements of the enemy and 
prevent surprise, they loitered about the camp and in 
the trenches, or amused themselves by firing at the 
fort from behind stumps and logs. Some, in imitation 
of the French, dug little trenches for themselves, in 


which they wormed their way towards the rampart| 
and now and then picked off an artillery-man, not 
without loss on their own side. On the afternoon of 
the fifth, Montcalm invited them to a council, gave 
them belts of wampum, and mildly remonstrated with 
them. "Why expose yourselves without necessity? 
I grieve bitterly over the losses that you have met, 
for the least among you is precious to me. No doubt 
it is a good thing to annoy the English; but that is 
not the main point. You ought to inform me of 
everything the enemy is doing, and always keep 
parties on the road between the two forts." And he 
gently hinted that their place was not in his camp, 
but in that of L^vis, where missionaries were provided 
for such of them as were Christians, and food and 
ammunition for them all. They promised, with 
excellent docility, to do everything he wished, but 
added that there was something on their hearts. 
Being encouraged to relieve themselves of the burden, 
they complained that they had not been consulted as 
to the management of the siege, but were expected to 
obey orders like slaves. "We know more about 
fighting in the woods than you," said their orator; 
"ask our advice, and you will be the better for it."* 
Montcalm assured them that if they had been 
neglected, it was only through the hurry and confu- 
sion of the time ; expressed high appreciation of theii 
talents for bush-fighting, promised them ample satis- 
faction, and ended by telling them that in the mom* 

^ BougainyUle, JottmaL 


ing they should hear the big guns. This greatly 
pleased them, for they were extremely impatient for 
the artillery to begin. About sunrise the battery of 
the left opened with eight heavy cannon and a mortar, 
jomed, on the next morning, by the battery of the 
right, with eleven pieces more. The fort replied 
with spirit. The cannon thundered all day, and 
from a hundred peaks and crags the astonished wil- 
derness roared back the sound. The Indians were 
delighted. They wanted to point the guns ; and to 
humor them, they were now and then allowed to do 
so. Others lay behind logs and fallen trees, and 
yelled their satisfaction when they saw the splinters 
fly from the wooden rampart. 

Day after day the weary roar of the distant can- 
nonade fell on the ears of Webb in his camp at Fort 
Edward. "I have not yet received the least rein- 
forcement," he writes to Loudon; ^^this is the disa- 
greeable situation we are at present in. The fort, by 
the heavy firing we hear from the lake, is still in our 
possession; but I fear it cannot long hold out against 
so warm a cannonading if I am not reinforced by a 
sufficient number of militia to march to their relief. " 
The militia were coming; but it was impossible that 
many could reach him in less than a week. Those 
from New York alone were within call, and two 
thousand of them arrived soon after he sent Loudon 
the above letter. Then, by stripping all the forts 
below, he could bring together forty-five hundred 
men; while several French deserters assured him that 


Montcalm had nearly twelve thousand. To advance 
to the relief of Monro with a force so inferior, through 
a defile of rocks, forests, and mountains, made by- 
nature for ambuscades, — and this too with troops 
who had neither the steadiness of regulars nor the 
bush -fighting skill of Indians, — was an enterprise for 
firmer nerve than his. 

He had already warned Monro to expect no help 
from him. At midnight of the fourth, Captain 
Bartman, his aide-de-camp, wrote: ^^The General 
has ordered me to acquaint you lie does not think it 
prudent to attempt a junction or to assist you till 
reinforced by the militia of the colonies, for the 
immediate march of which repeated expresses have 
been sent.*' The letter then declared that the French 
were in complete possession of the road between the 
two forts, that a prisoner just brought in reported 
their force in men and cannon to be very great, and 
that, unless the militia came soon, Monro had better 
make what terms he could with the enemy.* 

The chance was small that this letter would reach 
its destination; and in fact the bearer was killed by 
La Gome's Indians, who, in stripping the body, found 
the hidden paper, and earned it to the general. 
Montcalm kept it several days, till the English ram- 
part was half battered down ; and then, after salut- 
ing his enemy with a volley from all his cannon, he 

1 Frje, m his Journal, giYes the letter in full. A sporious trans- 
lation of it 18 appended to a piece caUed Jugement impartial $ur let 
Operations miliiaires en Canada, 


Bent it with a graceful compliment to Monro. It 
was Bougainville wlio carried it, preceded by a 
drummer and a flag. He was met at the foot of the 
glacis, blindfolded, atfd led through the fort and 
along the edge of the lake to the intrenched camp, 
where Monro was at the time. " He returned many 
thanks," writes the emissary in his Diary, "for the 
courtesy of our nation, and protested his joy at hav- 
ing to do with so generous an enemy. This was his 
answer to the Marquis de Montcalm. Then they led 
me back, always with eyes blinded ; and our batteries 
began to fire again as soon as we thought that the 
English grenadiers who escorted me had had time to 
re-enter the fort. I hope Greneral Webb's letter may 
induce the English to surrender the sooner." ^ 

By this time the sappers had worked their way to 
the angle of the lake, where they were stopped by a 
marshy hollow, beyond which was a tract of high 
ground, reaching to the fort and serving as the 
garden of the garrison.^ Logs and fascines in large 
quantities were thrown into the hollow, and hurdles 
were laid over them to form a causeway for the 
cannon. Then the sap was continued up the accliv- 
ity beyond, a trench was opened in the garden, and a 
battery begun, not two hundred and fifty yards from 
the fort. The Indians, in great number, crawled 
forward among the beans, maize, and cabbages, and 

1 Bougainyille, Journal. Bougainville au Ministre, 19 AoQt, 1757. 
s Now (1882) the site of Fort William Henry Hotel, with itt 
grounds. The hollow is partly filled by the main road of Caldwell. 


lay there ensconced. On the night of the seventh, 
two men came out of the fort, apparently to recon* 
noitre, with a view to a sortie, when they were 
greeted by a general volley and a burst of yells which 
echoed among the mountains ; followed by responsive 
whoops pealing through the darkness from the various 
camps and lurking-places of the savage warriors far 
and near. 

The position of the besieged was now deplorable. 
More than three hundred of them had been killed 
and wounded; small-pox was raging in the fort; the 
place was a focus of infection, and the casemates 
were crowded with the sick. A sortie from the 
intrenched camp and another from the fort had been 
repulsed with loss. All tlieir large cannon and 
mortars had been burst, or disabled by shot; only 
seven small pieces were left fit for service ; ^ and tlie 
whole of Montcalm's thirty-one cannon and fifteen 
mortars and howitzers would soon open fire, while 
the walls were already breached, and an assault was 
imminent Through the night of the eighth they 
fired briskly from all their remaining pieces. In the 
morning the officers held a council, and all agreed to 
surrender if honorable terms could be had. A white 
flag was raised, a drum was beat, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Young, mounted on horseback, for a shot in 
the foot had disabled him from walking, went, fol- 
lowed by a few soldiers, to the tent of Montcalm. 

It was agreed that the English troops should march 

1 Frye, Journal, 



out with the honors of war, and be escorted to Fort 
Edward by a detachment of French troops; that 
they should not serve for eighteen months ; and that 
all French prisoners captured in America since the 
war began should be given up within three months* 
The stores, munitions, and artillery were to be the 
prize of the victors, except one field-piece, which 
the garrison were to retain in recognition of their 
brave defence. 

Before signing the capitulation Montcalm called 
the Indian chiefs to council, and asked them to con- 
sent to the conditions, and promise to restrain their 
young warriors from any disorder. They approved 
everything and promised everything. The garrison 
then evacuated the fort, and marched to join their 
comrades in the intrenched camp, which was included 
in the surrender. No sooner were they gone than a 
crowd of Indians clambered through the embrasures 
in search of rum and plunder. All the sick men 
unable to leave their beds were instantly butchered.^ 
^ I was witness of this spectacle,*' says the missionary 
Roubaud; "I saw one of these barbarians come out 
of the casemates with a human head in his hand, 
from which the blood ran in streams, and which he 
paraded as if he had got the finest prize in the world." 
There was little left to plunder; and the Indiana, 
joined by the more lawless of the Canadians, turned 
their attention to the intrenched camp, where all the 
English were now collected. 

1 Attestation of WiUiam Arbuthnct, Captain in Frjfe*$ Regiwtmi, 

1757.] CONFUSION IN CAMP. 521 

The French gtiard stationed there could not or 
would not keep out the rabble. By the advice of 
Montcalm the English stove their rum-barrels; but 
the Indians were drunk already with homicidal rage, 
and the glitter of their vicious eyes told of the devil 
within. They roamed among the tents, intrusive, 
insolent, their visages besmirched with war-paint; 
grinning like fiends as they handled, in anticipation 
of the knife, the long hair of cowering women, of 
whom, as well as of children, there were many in the 
camp, all crazed with fright. Since the last war the 
New England border population had regarded Indians 
with a mixture of detestation and horror. Their 
mysterious warfare of ambush and surprise, their 
midnight onslaughts, their butcheries, their burnings, 
and all their nameless atrocities, had been for years 
the theme of fireside story; and the dread they 
excited was deepened by the distrust and dejection 
of the time. The confusion in the camp lasted 
through the afternoon. " The Indians, " says Bougain- 
ville, ^^ wanted to plunder the chests of the English; 
the latter resisted; and there was fear that serious 
disorder would ensue. The Marquis de Montcalm 
ran thither immediately, and used every means to 
restore tranquillity: prayers, threats, caresses, inter- 
position of the officers and interpreters who have 
some influence over these savages."^ ^^ We shall be 
but too happy if we can prevent a massacre. Detest- 
able position ! of which nobody who has not been in 

i BougainviUe au Ministre, 19 Ao4U, 1757- 


it can have any idea, and which makes victory itself 
a sorrow to the victors. The Marquis spared no 
efforts to prevent the rapacity of the savages and, I 
must say it, of certain persons associated with them, 
from resulting in something worse than plunder. At 
last, at nine o'clock in the evening, order seemed 
restored. The Marquis even induced the Indians to 
promise that, besides the escort agreed upon in the 
capitulation, two chiefs for each tribe should accom- 
pany the English on their way to Fort Edward."^ 
He also ordered La Corne and the other Canadian 
officers attached to the Indians to see that no violence 
took place. He might well have done more. In 
view of the disorders of the afternoon, it would not 
have been too much if he had ordered the whole body 
of regular troops, whom alone he could trust for the 
purpose, to hold themselves ready to move to the 
spot in case of outbreak, and shelter their defeated 
foes behind a hedge of bayonets. 

Bougainville was not to see what ensued; for 
Montcalm now sent him to Montreal, as a special 
messenger to carry news of the victory. He em- 
barked at ten o'clock. Returning daylight found 
him far down the lake ; and as he looked on its still 
bosom flecked with mists, and its quiet mountains 
sleeping under the flush of dawn, there was nothing 
in the wild tranquillity of the scene to suggest the 
tragedy which even then was beginning on the shora 
he had left behind. 

\757.] INDIAN OUTRAGES. 523 

The English in their camp had passed a troubled 
night, agitated by strange rumors. In the morning 
something like a panic seized them; for they dis- 
trusted not the Indians only, but the Canadians. In 
their haste to be gone they got together at daybreak, 
before the escort of three hundred regulars had 
arrived. They had their muskets, but no ammuni- 
tion; and few or none of the provincials had bayo- 
nets. £arly as it was, the Indians were on the alert; 
and, indeed, since midnight great numbers of them 
had been prowling about the skirts of the camp, 
showing, says Colonel Frye, " more than usual malice 
in their looks." Seventeen wounded men of his 
regiment lay in huts, unable to join the march. In 
the preceding afternoon Miles Whitworth, the regi- 
mental surgeon, had passed them over to the care of 
a French surgeon, according to an ag^ement made 
at the time of the surrender; but, the Frenchman 
being absent, the other remained with them attending 
to their wants. The French surgeon had caused 
special sentinels to be posted for their protection. 
These were now removed, at the moment when they 
were needed most; upon which, about five o'clock in 
the morning, the Indians entered the huts, dragged 
out the inmates, and tomahawked and scalped them 
all, before the eyes of Whitworth, and in presence of 
La Come and other Canadian officers, as well as of 
a French guard stationed within forty feet of the 
spot; and, declares the surgeon under oath, ^^none, 
either officer or soldier, protected the said wounded 


men."^ The opportune butchery relieved them of a 
troublesome burden. 

A scene of plundering now began. The escort had 
by this time arrived, and Monro complained to the 
officers that the capitulation was broken; but got no 
other answer than advice to give up the baggage to 
the Indians in order to appease them. To this the 
English at length agreed ; but it only increased the 
excitement of the mob. They demanded rum ; and 
some of the soldiers, afraid to refuse, gave it to them 
from their canteens, thus adding fuel to the flame. 
When, after much difficulty, the column at last got 
out of the camp and began to move along the road 
that crossed the rough plain between the intrench- 
ment and the forest, the Indians crowded upon them, 
impeded their march, snatched caps, coats, and 
weapons from men and officers, tomahawked those 
that resisted, and, seizing upon shrieking women and 
children, dragged them off or murdered them on the 
spot. It is said that some of the interpreters secretly 
fomented the disorder.^ Suddenly there rose the 
screech of the war-whoop. At this signal of butch- 
ery, which was given by Abenaki Christians from 
the mission of the Penobscot,^ a mob of savages 
rushed upon the New Hampshire men at the rear of 
the column, and killed or dragged away eighty of 

1 Affidavit of Miles Whitworth. See Appendix F. 

* This it stated by Poaehot and Bougainville; the latter of 
whom eonflrms the testimony of the English witnesses, that 
Canadian officers present did nothing to check the Indians. 

* See note, end of chapter 

1757.] THE MASSACRE. 525 

them.^ A frightful tumult ensued, when Montcalm, 
L^vis, Bourlamaque, and many other French officeis, 
who had hastened from their camp on the first news 
of disturhance, threw themselves among the Indians, 
and by promises and threats tried to allay their 
frenzy. ^^Kill me, but spare the English who are 
under my protection," exclaimed Montcalm. He 
took from one of them a young officer whom the 
savage had seized; upon which several other Indians 
immediately tomahawked their prisoners, lest they 
too should be taken from them. One writer says 
that a French g^nadier was killed and two wounded 
in attempting to restore order; but the statement is 
doubtful. The English seemed paralyzed, and for- 
tunately did not attempt a resistance, which, without 
ammunition as they were, wovdd have ended in a 
general massacre. Their broken column straggled 
forward in wild disorder, amid the din of whoops and 
shrieks, till they reached the French advance-guard, 
which consisted of Canadians; and here they de^ 
manded protection from the officers, who refused to 
give it, telling them that they must take to the 
woods and shift for themselves. Frye was seized by 
a number of Indians, who, brandishing spears and 
tomahawks, threatened him with death and tore off 
his clothing, leaving nothing but breeches, shoes, 
and shirt. Repelled by the officers of the guard, he 

^ Belknap, History of New Hampshire, gays that eighty were 
kiUed. Gk>Ycmor Wentworth, writing immediately after the erent^ 
•ays " killed or captiTated." 


made for the woods. A Connecticut soldier who 
was present says of him that he leaped upon an 
Indian who stood in his way, disarmed and killed 
him, and then escaped; but Frye himself does not 
mention the incident. Captain Burke, also of the 
Massachusetts regiment, was stripped, after a violent 
struggle, of all his clothes ; then broke loose, gained 
the woods, spent the night shivering in the thick 
grass of a marsh, and on the next day reached Fort 
Edward. Jonathan Carver, a provincial volunteer, 
declares that, when the tumult was at its height, he 
saw officers of the French army walking about at a 
little distance and talking with seeming unconcern. 
Three or four Indians seized him, brandished their 
tomahawks over his head, and tore off most of his 
clothes, while he vainly claimed protection from a 
sentinel, who called him an English dog, and violently 
pushed him back among his tormentors. Two of 
them were dragging him towards the neighboring 
swamp, when an English officer, stripped of every- 
thing but his scarlet breeches, ran by. One of 
Carver's captors sprang upon him, but was thrown 
to the ground; whereupon the other went to the aid 
of his comrade and drove his tomahawk into the back 
of the Englishman. As Carver turned to run, an 
English boy, about twelve years old, clung to him 
and begged for help. They ran on together for a 
moment, when the boy was seized, dragged from his 
protector, and, as Carver judged by his shrieks, 
was murdered. He himself escaped to the forest^ 


and after three days of famine reached Fort 

The bonds of discipline seem for the time to have 
been completely broken ; for while Montcalm and his 
chief officers used every effort to restore order, even 
at the risk of their lives, many other officers, chiefly 
of the militia, failed atrociously to do their duty. 
How many English were killed it is impossible to 
tell with exactness. Roubaud says that he saw forty 
or fifty corpses scattered about the field. L^vis says 
fifty; which does not include the sick and wounded 
before murdered in the camp and fort. It is certain 
that six or seven hundred persons were carried off, 
stripped, and otherwise maltreated. Montcalm suc- 
ceeded in recovering more than four hundred of them 
in the course of the day; and many of the French 
officers did what they could to relieve their wants 
by buying back from their captors the clothing that 
had been torn from them. Many of the fugitives had 
taken refuge in the fort, whither Monro himself had 
gone to demand protection for his followers; and 
here Roubaud presently found a crowd of half -frenzied 
women, crying in anguish for husbands and children. 
All the refugees and redeemed prisoners were after- 
wards conducted to the intrenched camp, where food 
and shelter were provided for them and a strong 
guard set for their protection until the fifteenth, 
when they were sent under an escort to Fort Edward. 
Here cannon had been fired at intervals to guide 
those who had fled to the woods, whence they came 


dropping in from day to day, half dead with 

On the morning after the massacre the Indians 
decamped in a body and set out for Montreal, carry- 
ing with them their plunder and some two hundred 
prisoners, who, it is said, could not be got out of 
their hands. The soldiers were set to the work of 
demolishing the English fort; and the task occupied 
several days. The barracks were torn down, and the 
huge pine-logs of the rampart thrown into a heap. 
The dead bodies that filled the casemates were added 
to the mass, and fire was set to the whole. The 
mighty funeral pyre blazed all night. Then, on the 
sixteenth, the army re-embarked. The din of ten 
thousand combatants, the rage, the terror, the agony, 
were gone; and no living thing was left but the 
wolves that gathered from the mountains to feast 
upon the dead.^ 

1 The foregoing chapter rests largely on eridence nerer before 
brought to light, inclnding the minute Journal of Bougainville, — a 
document which can hardly be commended too much, — the corre- 
spondence of Webb, a letter of Colonel Frye, written just after the 
massacre, and a journal of the siege, sent by him to Goyemor Pow- 
nall as his official report. Extracts from these, as well as from the 
affidavit of Dr. Whitworth, which is also new evidence, are given in 
Appendix F. 

The Diary of Malartic and the correspondence of Montcalm, 
L6vis, Vaudreuil, and Bigot, also throw light on the campaign, as 
well as numerous reports of the siege, official and semi-official. 
The long letter of the Jesuit Roubaud, printed anonymously in the 
Lettres Sdifiantes et Curieuses, gives a remarkably vivid account of 
what he saw. He was an intelligent person, who may be trusted 
where he has no motive for lying. Curious particulars about him 
wiU be found in a paper caUed, The dephrabie Caae of Mr, RoMbamd, 


printed in the Historical Mcigazine, Second Series, yiii. 282. Com- 
pare Verreau, Report on Canadian Archives, 1874. 

Impressions of the massacre at Fort William Henry hare 
hitherto heen derired chiefly from the narratire of Captain Jona- 
than Caryer, in his Travels, He has discredited himself hy his 
exaggeration of the nnmher killed; hut his account of what he 
himself saw, tallies with that of the other witnesses. He is outdone 
in exaggeration hy an anonymous French writer of the time, who 
seems rather pleased at the occurrence, and afllrms that all the 
English were killed except seven hundred, these last being cap- 
tured, so that none escaped (NouveUes du Canada envoy€es de Mont- 
real, Ao4t, 1767). Carver puts killed and captured together at 
fifteen hundred. Vaudreuii, who always makes light of Indian 
barbarities, goes to the other extreme, and avers that no more than 
five or six were killed. L^vis and Roubaud, who saw everything, 
and were certain not to exaggerate the number, g^ve the most trust- 
worthy evidence on this point. The capitulation, having been 
broken by the allies of France, was declared void by the British 

The Signal of Butchery. Montcalm, Bougainville, and several 
others say that the massacre was begun by the Abenakis of Pan»- 
ouski. Father Martin, in quoting the letter in which Montcalm 
makes this statement, inserts the word idolatres, which is not in the 
original. Dussieux and O'Callaghan give the passage correctly. 
This Abenaki band, ancestors of the present Fenobscots, were no 
idolaters, but had been converted more than half a century. In the 
official list of the Indian allies, they are set down among the Chris- 
tians. Roubaud, who had charge of them during the expedition, 
speaks of these and other converts with singular candor : " Youi 
avez dd vous apercevoir . . . que nos sauvages, pour 6tre Chretiens, 
n'en sont pas plus irr^pr^hensibles dans leur conduite." 

VOL. I. — 84 


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